King David likely wrote the below Psalm as he was reminded of his days serving as a lowly shepherd. David wrote about the rocky terrain which shepherds often faced after more favorable fields of grass were depleted. As a former cross-country runner, I know all about stumbling and twisting my ankles during races on an uneven terrain. Yet, David speaks of a God who can keep you from stumbling.
The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect? 33 He makes my feet like hinds’ feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]; He sets me securely upon my high places, Psalm 18:32-33.
Despite this perspective, David did stumble and fall, big time, as described by 2 Samuel 11-12. David writes about this painful moment in Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. Idleness led David to not show up for work, going to war with Israel’s army, had an affair and once Bathsheba got pregnant, he tried to cover this up by giving her husband leave to sleep with his wife. When Uriah refused to go into his house, David panicked and sent Uriah out to die in battle.
He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He Who keeps you will not slumber, Psalm 121:3.
While this fall from grace is epic, David learned to see God as the One who keep you from stumbling. Perhaps, David understood what the apostle Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 10:13, learning to search for the way out of temptation following his rebuke by the prophet Nathan. Then again, it’s possible David is literally focusing on God’s ability to keep his feet from twisting an ankle. Whatever the interpretation, both can apply as Christians learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.
by Jay Mankus