I drove my truck for two years before discovering that I could roll down the windows with the keyfob. Now when walking up to the truck I roll the windows down even when I don't want them down. It is a great little feature that has always been there, I just didn’t realize it. This week I would like to look at one of the most familiar chapters in the Bible, the 23rd Psalm. Let's focus on one portion of it for some insight that is often overlooked.
The 23rd Psalm starts out with, “The Lord is my shepherd…”. It’s a staple of Christian education and worth some solid prize weight in Sunday School once you memorize it. The prayer is so popular because it contains many promises worded in a concise way. Let's focus on the closing lines: “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life” Psalm 23:6 What does it mean that goodness and lovingkindness will follow us?
Goodness is simply interpreted as that, “good things” and “to our benefit”. Lovingkindness is defined as, “faithful goodness”. Lovingkindness is like the enforcer of goodness. Now when we look at the word “follow”, things get interesting.
The original text and usage of the word “follow” here is not like randomly looking at a social social media feed. The meaning of “follow” in this text is more than just my wife and I taking two cars and arriving at the same place. The word “follow” in this sense is more like using the “chrome horn” all the way around the race track. It’s pursing with such intensity that in Hebrew they can use the same word to describe harassment.
If we put it all together the passage is declaring that good things and situations to our benefit are continually upon us. Goodness and lovingkindness is eagerly trying to secure a hold of us. It doesn’t matter if I turn left or right, or speed up or slow down - it is right there. What this means is that even if I make a poor choice or simply mess things up, that God is still pursuing me. Of course He has a plan and a purpose for us and we face consequences for our actions but redemption, restoration, and forgiveness are faithfully extended to us.
This is an incredible promise to grab hold of. If we really grasp this then we’ll realize that we always have a 2nd chance to course correct. We never have to feel shame or disappointment that we “missed God” in our lives. Let’s shake off negativity and embrace His goodness and lovingkindness that is so persistent and near!