Summary: Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live. This verse compels us to do: stop, look and listen.
April 9th Psalm 23:6 Accept & Rejoice
The past 2 weeks we’ve been immersed in the beauty and splendor of the 23rd Psalm. Stand and read 23rd Psalm (on screen)
Week 1 we contemplated the words: “The Lord is my shepherd; therefore I lack nothing.” A shepherd took care of the sheep 24/7. He led them, guided them, fed them, protected them. They didn’t need anything else. So David writes, Since the Lord is my shepherd, I’ve got all I need. Week 2 we focused on the fact that even when we go thru the deepest darkness of our lives, He is there with us. His rod protects us from the enemy who would come to steal, kill, and destroy. And his staff guides me and even corrects me when necessary to keep me on the right path.
We finish our study of the 23rd Psalm by unpacking the last, but certainly not the least verse. V.6 says: “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
As I meditated on this verse, I took note of the language and verbiage. Very interesting. This verse I think compels us to do 3 things:
1. Stop “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me”
You might underline or circle that word pursue. When you hear the word pursue, what do you think of? Being chased after, right? If something or someone is pursuing you, they are not wanting to give you something good, right? The police pursue a criminal so that they can catch him and take him to prison. A dog might pursue you while you’re running/walking by a house so that it can bite you on the leg. An attacker might pursue you so that he can do you great harm.
But notice what is pursuing the person whose shepherd is the Lord. Goodness and faithful love. The Good shepherd is pursuing us with goodness and faithful love. Let’s drill down into those two words.
Goodness. The Hebrew word is goodness (tov): delightful; helpful; desirable. I think of the Scripture
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” On a hot day, a bowl of Blue Bell vanilla melting on your tongue—it’s good—real good! Many people are afraid of God. They think that He wants to make life miserable for them; take away all their fun. But it’s actually just the opposite. To know Him, to really know Him, to taste of Him--is to see that He is good. He is delightful. He is desirable. And He pursues us so that we will experience His goodness in every area of our lives.
Psalm 106:1 “Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.” The concepts of God’s goodness and faithful love are seen together often in the Scripture. That phrase is really one word in Hebrew… faithful love (chesed): steadfast, undaunted love
So God is pursuing us. He yearns to have an intimate relationship with Him. He wants the best for us. He is good and wants to shower us with His goodness. He’s unrelenting and never gives up on us.
So why do we run from Him? Why do we fill our lives with so much activity that we don’t have time to spend just enjoying Him and tasting His goodness and love? We need to stop long enough to have unhurried time with the Good Shepherd every day.
When we were living in Jackson, Ben 2 yrs old maybe, front yard, started running for street. Chased. Ran faster. Called. Finally stopped. Car bumper went 2 feet from his head. I wasn’t out to harm him; I was out to save Him. Stop running and taste the goodness of the Lord. Stop and let His goodness and mercy and steadfast love pour over your soul.
2. Look “all the days of my life”
How many days of life do you think you’ll have? You don’t know. But for the believer we can say God has been good to us, He has been faithful all the days of our lives. That doesn’t mean that circumstances have been good. That doesn’t mean that people have been good. We live in a broken world where sickness, disease, prejudice, hatred are all around us. But for the believer, we don’t determine God’s love for us and goodness to us by circumstance, do we?
Romans 5:6-8 “6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”