IBS – Psalm 23:6

Psa 23:6 ESV – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  After the description of what God does for David, and each of us in turn, we see the prayer to God of thanks for protection and blessing.  And then we get to this verse, the  necessary result of all the previous verses.  Here, we see two separate statements.  Are they promises?  Yes, but more than that, they are the logical conclusion to being led by the Good Shepherd.
The first statement is a temporal one: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.  David doesn’t make this statement with a connotation of wishful thinking.  Rather, he is well aware that this is inevitable.  And this word “follow” I tend to think of as like a hunter stalking its prey.  Goodness and mercy are ever chasing me as I wander through life. There’s nothing I can do to escape them, they will get me.  And when they do, what a glorious day that will be.
See, I belong to the Good Shepherd, and He will not allow me to wander aimlessly off into the wilderness.  His goodness and His mercy will hunt me down and bring me back.  No matter what I’ve done today or any day prior in this life, He will overtake me.  Because He wants me.  For some strange reason, this great and mighty King, the best Shepherd ever, desires me.  To myself, I’m pretty pathetic.  To the Maker of this Universe, I’m worth everything.  As it’s been said, He’d rather die than spend eternity without me.  So He follows me, and He will not let me out of His sight.
The second statement is the Grand Hope of Christianity: I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Everlasting life sounds good because I don’t want to die.  But if I really consider the state of this world, do I really want to live in my house forever?  No.  I want to live in His house.  And He wants me there too!
So this great King, when He comes riding on a White Horse (literally!), will take me out of this broken world and into a place that is more beautiful than words could describe.  It will be as new as visiting a beach I’ve never set foot on, and at the same time as familiar as my favorite chair.
This God, who didn’t have to create me, wanted to, so He did.  He was under no obligation to chase after me when I fled from Him, but He did.  He did not have to die for my sins, in order to save me from my certain doom, but He did.  He doesn’t have to give me a new glorious life in His home, but He will.
And because God loves me, I know that I am loved.  Because Jesus, the King of Kings, died for me, I know I’m worthy.  Because the Spirit lives inside of me, I know I’m on mission.  I am who I am because He is who He is.  I’m taking my family to Moldova because we are on our way home.  And on the way there, we need to pick up some Moldovans.
Today, as it’s our last day here, I will pray for each of the interns here that Marie and I have come to know and love.  If we don’t see you again this side of Heaven, we will see you when we get Home.
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