On Monday our “bite” was Psalm 23:1,2.
We learned some interesting stuff during our morning FB Live fellowship. Like, did you know that the shepherd literally has to make the sheep lie down when they’re in grassy pastures because if he doesn’t, they will eat so much that their bellies will get so full they fall down and then can’t get up! They become “cast” which is a term used for a sheep unable to stand up again. In his wisdom, the shepherd makes them lie down.
Sometimes our shepherd gently pushes us down to rest. But resting doesn’t come easy, does it?
Studying Psalm 23 reminded me of this devotional I wrote for my Bite of Bread book which I’ve actually sat aside to “rest” while I wait on God’s direction, but I love what I found in this devotional.
(Each day has a scripture, word study on key words from the verse, a new understanding of the verse with the knowledge of the definitions, and then a thought for the day.)
Here’s the excerpt:
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” -Psalm 23:6
Word Study (Hebrew words)
Tob (tōve): Good, pleasant, beautiful, excellent, lovely, delightful, joyful, fruitful, precious, cheerful, kind, correct, righteous; that which is good or right; virtue, happiness, pleasantness . . . . 1
Hesed: to be merciful, faithful. Love, kindness, mercy. One of the most important words in the OT, hesed essentially denotes an act of kindness, love, or mercy. The quality of kindness shown is usually that reserved for close friends and family members, but the act of hesed can be demonstrated in any relationship. . . . 2
Radaph: A primitive root; to run after (usually with hostile intent; figuratively (of time gone by): – chase, put to flight, follow (after on), hunt, (be under) persecute (-ion, -or), pursue (-r). 3
Fresh Bread (New understanding and insight from the word study.)
My daughter memorized Psalm 23 when she was three. I can still hear that tiny voice, “Shurwy, good nets and mertsy will fo-woe me all the days of my wife (big sigh) . . . and I will dwell in the house of the ward . . . (higher pitch) for-eb-er!”
If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you’ve probably memorized this verse too. We know it so well that we read it quickly. We probably have not stopped to ponder its meaning. How do ethereal things like goodness (tob) and love or mercy (chesed) “follow” behind us? Radaph means more than a gentle tagging along. This verb comes with urgency . . . to run after . . . chase . . . hunt . . . pursue.
How many of us envision a God of wrath chasing us to slam judgment on our hearts? Or a God who is aloof? But David writes of goodness and merciful love chasing him every single day of his life. That is the character of our God. A God of tob, all that is beautiful, excellent, lovely, delightful, joyful, and right.
It makes me want to stop and let this Entity of everything beautiful, good, and merciful catch me, but even after he has our hearts, he still pursues us. You and I are being chased by Love.
Chew on . . . the thought of being pursued by Merciful Kindness and Goodness daily. It makes me want to stop and rest and let Him catch me!
[Your turn: I need your input: Do you like the format of this devotional? Is it hard to comprehend or too short? Leave a comment please and let goodness catch you today as you rest in Him even for ten minutes!]
I’ve been reading Psalm 23 in the MSG version. I’m not a great fan of this version for all Scripture, but I love this version for Ps.23 because of how intimately it speaks to us!
Thanks for sharing, Sandy! I’ll have to look it up. :)