June 3, 2020
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for your dedication in prayer each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Vance Havner once said, “Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.” What a great line from a true man of God!
Today is the conclusion of my meditation on Psalm 23. In the last verse, David is focused on the great heart-wish of God through the ages and what should be the longing pursuit of every believer. What is that? Dwelling with God! Notice David’s language, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Ps. 23:6). I enjoy the wording of the NLT, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.”
God is hot on your trail! He is in pursuit of you! He has not once taken His eyes off you. He has followed you into every dark corner of your life. He has reminded you of His love in every situation. From the day of your conception to this very day, He has chased you down, and He will not let up until you are there at His side in glory. He pursued you when you didn’t know that He was there. He followed after you when you didn’t even care, but He was there. In fact, it is His nature to pursue. The true Shepherd always has His eye on His sheep. In Luke 15, the shepherd goes after the lost sheep until he finds it. This is exactly what Christ did at the cross and what He does for the deliverance of each one of us. We can be so thankful that God loves us to that extent.
This word “pursue” is a good one. The Hebrew word is (רדף râdaph), meaning to run after, aim to secure, attend closely, chase, hunt down. God didn’t just hunt you down to let you wander through life. No! A thousand times no! He continues to chase after you with all His being. Every time your heart yearns for more, He seeks to fill it. Every time a tear falls from your cheek, He catches it. Every time you open His Word, He longs to talk to you. It’s not just in the good times or in the productive times, but as David said, “All the days of my life.”
Notice how specific David gets; he focuses on two of God’s qualities in verse 6, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” God is pursuing you with His goodness. It is so important for us to understand that everything that God commands, everything that God allows, and everything God permits, emanates from His goodness. He is orchestrating everything for your blessing. The second word is “mercy” or unfailing love. God is pursuing you with every ounce of love that He has. His love overshadows you. His love protects you. His love guides you. His love fills you. His love is ever hunting you down. The word translated love is the Hebrew word (חסד chêsêd), which is God’s loyal, faithful love. He is committed to you and will never let you go. David says, “Surely…” Meaning, it’s true!
Have you ever wondered why God is pursuing you with such earnest desire? The answer to this is the key to life, the key to the message of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation, and it’s found right in our text. He desires to dwell with you and have you dwell with Him. He wants you to be at home with Him. As you learn to settle in His presence and abide there, you will come to know Him more deeply and will find incredible joy in His nearness.
This is what He wanted from the beginning. In the paradise of Eden, He walked together with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day and they enjoyed being with Him. As the people of God trekked through the desert, He again dwelt with His people, only this time it was in the tabernacle. In Solomon's time, God's presence filled the Temple, and then came the great wonder of the incarnation. God came down in holy, majestic manhood. Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah, “‘They shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Mat 1:22). Then, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended to dwell, to live, to be at home in the lives of His people.
God surely dwells with us and desires us to experience the joy of His presence. David said, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple” (Ps.27:4). What was he saying? He longed for a deeper awareness of God’s presence and a greater love for the Lord he served.
David’s vision went beyond the enjoyment of God’s presence here on earth. He was taking a long look, beyond the grave into the vast eternity of God, when he would see Him and live with Him forever. This is our portion. This is our reality. This is our hope! The Shepherd who feeds us and leads us and cares for us is the same Shepherd who will receive us into His eternal home.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel