Posted by: Jo | May 1, 2015

God Is Our Rear Guard


“…for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard”

(Isaiah: 52 12)

image My husband and I had a very demanding example of what it means to be a rear guard this week when we offered to mind our little grandson. One of the plans for the morning was a visit to the neighbourhood park. Even donning the appropriate clothing from proper boots to warm jacket and checking that we remembered a towel (wet slides and swings not good for clothing or fun) took thoughtful planning, but the actual adventure was where we knew we had to take seriously our role of protecting our little one. We knew he would be oblivious of the danger of crossing a road, running ahead of us, jumping on equipment meant for older children, perhaps doubling back to check where that chipmunk went, any spur of the minute a change in direction, so we knew he needed one of us up front and the rear guard coming up behind.

Our Heavenly Father describes himself as fulfilling that role for us, making sure we are protected, sending his angels to specifically watch over us;

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91: 11 – 12)

We have a choice of allowing the Lord to play that role or we can choose to be in charge of our own lives, the Lord never forces us to rely on him, but as I was watching our care free little grandson I was made aware of, without us guarding him, how easily he could have wandered into the surrounding woods, how easily he could slither down that steep embankment, and it made me realise how easily we can be misled or distracted in our own lives and how incredible the gift God, Our Heavenly Father is offering, in promising to guard us.

“…he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2: 7 – 8)

image The book of Proverbs is full of comparisons of the “wise” and the “foolish” and the Psalmists define who a fool actually is;

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God…”” (Psalm 14: 1)

So acknowledging who our Heavenly Father is, is the first step in accepting that blanket covering of protection so freely offered by him. The next step is to make sure we are travelling on the same path as he is. We do this by keeping in touch with him by daily prayer, worshipping him with other believers, reading his word.

I particularly like the Lord describing himself as the “rear guard”. How often have we exclaimed or have heard others say, “I didn’t see it coming!”? Disasters can creep up on us unexpectedly without us being aware. We can be hurt by others failing us. Dark despair can overtake us. This is when we can take great comfort that our rear guard is not surprised by anything that can rob of us of joy. He is there right behind us, helping us overcome whatever assails us. Isaiah the prophet reminds us of this in beautiful words that will sustain us through any rough waters;

“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will call for help, and he will say: Here am I.” (Isaiah 58: 8 – 9)


  1. Isaiah:52:12 12 For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your (reward). Though I believe God is our “Rear Guard” He constantly watches over us but this verse does not imply that thought or idea.


  2. I loved this blog Jo ! I found it such a comfort knowing he is watching over us


  3. One of my friends sent me a prayer she prayed as a child and fits so perfectly here.
    Angel of God my guardian dear
    To whom God’s love commits me here
    Ever this day be at my side
    To light and guard, to rule, to guide
    Forever and forever . Amen


  4. Your blog really hit home to me this week, Jo. On Thursday I came out from an evening service, got into my car, turned on the headlights and drove across into the wrong lane. Proceeding along in that lane and wanting to turn I wondered why the car coming towards me was slowing down to let me turn when I suddenly realised we were both in the same lane. Thank goodness for those angels – both of them – sent to guard us “in all our ways”!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Concierge Librarian.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen to that

    Liked by 1 person

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