June 27 I Thursday
“Surely Your 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
When God is our Good Shepherd, not only is there adequate provision and protection but there are also adequate prospects. David looks to the future in two ways: first, in the temporal part of our life—“Surely, goodness and love” (or “mercy” in the King James Version) “will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6).
Goodness, love and mercy are the results from our trusting and knowing that whatever God is doing in our lives, it is for our good. Even when we experience God’s discipline, it may not seem like it is for our good at the beginning, but the outcome of our discipline always yields its fruit. In retrospect, we realize that we needed to go through it. We also need God’s mercy because we are fallen people who require forgiveness for our sin. It is by His love that we are reaffirmed and know that God is operating within us.
David also alludes in Psalm 23:6 that we have adequate prospects in the eternal: “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” We will pass through the shadow of death, but on the other side, there will be life forever “in the house of the LORD.” This is not an escape from the present, for Scripture equips us to live in the present, but to know that there is going to come something even greater, which our minds cannot comprehend because it is beyond anything we know in this life.
No wonder David writes, “We Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will praise You for ever; from generation to generation we will proclaim Your praise” (Psalm 79:13). David notes, being the sheep of God’s pasture, from generation to generation, we recount His praise and we pass it on to the next generation. As that old spiritual used to say, “We will praise You forever because we know this world is not our home, we are just a passing through.”
As morbid as it sounds, we only truly know how to live when we know how to die. If someone does not know how to die, then that person is not going to be free to live because that person is dealing with fear all the time. These two elements––how to live and how to die––are addressed in Psalm 23. But it is not a psychological process or a technique for living; it is a response to a relationship when “the Lord is my shepherd.”
When we trust Him, we receive provision, protection, comfort and prospect, and can hold onto the promise that we will dwell in His house forever.
Prayer: Lord God thank You for being my shepherd who gives me goodness, love and mercy all the days in my life. Thank you also for providing me with the assurance that I will dwell with You for all eternity. In Jesus’s name.