“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:6
Psalm 23 comes to a wonderful and liberating conclusion. David knows that the Lord is his Shepherd and is utterly convinced of God’s love and provision for him forever.
A number of striking points are seen when we consider the original Hebrew meanings of the words used. The Hebrew word chesed that is translated as ‘love’ (NIV) or‘mercy’ (KJV) is probably best understood as referring to God’s unfailing love. The nearest New Testament equivalent is the word charis, which is translated as grace. In fact when Martin Luther translated the bible into German he used the same word for both chesed and charis (Gnade).
Isn’t that an amazing picture? Because God is your Shepherd you can be completely confident that His grace, His love and mercy, His unmerited favour will follow you always. But there is even more…
The word translated ‘follow’ is not supposed to conjure the image of a hopeless puppy following you around but rather that of a hunter relentlessly pursuing and taking David captive. What an image! The grace of God relentlessly pursues you to take you captive and fill you with the goodness and love of the great Shepherd.
Today, rather than being afraid of predators or enemies, rather than being afraid in dark valleys you can be completely assured that God’s grace is right behind you – God’s love and mercy will pursue you wherever you go and today – there is nothing you can do or nowhere you can go where His grace will not follow. He wants this grace to envelop and transform you so that you will be found in the presence of God for the rest of your life.
Because of His grace we can boldly and confidently say with the psalmist, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing”.