“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
Take a moment to read through the definitions of the Hebrew words.
[Definitions from the Key Word Study Bible and The Complete Word Study Dictionary.]
She was only three when my daughter memorized Psalm 23.
I know, what were we thinking? Mike and I were over achievers growing up. I guess we carried our baggage into parenthood. But anyway. Somewhere in the bowels of our garage lies the recording of her sweet voice. We might never find it, but my memory needs no cassette, because the very last verse is etched on my heart.
Shurwy, good nets and mertsy will fo-wow 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. What does it looks like for ethereal things like goodness (tob) and love or mercy (hesed) to “follow” behind us? Hold that thought, and let’s move on.
The definitions (above) for radaph translated as “follow” also causes me to pause for a moment. 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 . . . right.
It makes me want to stop and let this Entity of everything beautiful, good, and merciful catch me.
Even after he has our hearts, he still pursues us. We are being chased by Love.
Chewing on . . . the thought of being pursued by Mercy and Goodness everyday.
Your turn: How does this new understanding of God’s daily pursuit for your heart change the way you read Psalm 23 or respond to God?
Finding Purpose in the Chase,
For the next few months I will be working on my next project–a daily devotional called the Bite of Bread. I shared it with you last week, and you all responded with enthusiasm! Thank you for the encouragement. Due to time limits and the desire to continue posting soul nourishment during this undertaking, I will post one of the devotions from the project on Fridays. I would love to get your feedback on what works and what doesn’t–what speaks to your soul and what bounces off your brain. Thank you! I pray they bless you.