Our Shepherd’s Promise.
This week we wrap up Psalm 23 with a life-giving promise. A promise that our Shepherd will never leave us. A promise that He wants good, not harm, for us. A promise that His character is good and merciful. A promise that we get to enjoy His presence in this life and the next. That’s a promise I will treasure.
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Psalms 23:6 NASB
Our Shepherd will never leave.
This point has already been a theme throughout Psalm 23 and then this verse touches on it again when it says “follow me all the days of my life”, communicating that Christ and His goodness will never leave. As believers, we can take courage that we never walk alone. All throughout scripture God promises to always be with us. For example, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB) As we prepare to move our family to a third-world country, this promise is particularly comforting. When everything is new and foreign the promise that the one who has the whole world in His hands is right beside us is empowering.
Our Shepherd wants what is best for us.
The familiar verse, Jeremiah 29:11, promises that God wants the best for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” It can be a temptation for me to believe the opposite. Satan likes to tell me the same lie he told Eve, “God doesn’t really want the best for you.” When I look through scripture as well as at the Lord’s faithfulness in my life, I see the grand picture. I see that from the beginning of time God’s heart is for me. He created me in His image, was heartbroken when sin separated me from Him, took action by sending His Son as the atonement for my sin so that I could be reconciled to Him and have a relationship with Him. He constantly proves that His plan is so much better than mine by blessing me with exactly what I need when I need it. My prayer the last several months is that I would stop listening to the enemy and believe the truth. My Shepherd loves me and wants the best for me and my family.
Our Shepherd is good and merciful.
In Jeremiah 32, just a few chapters after Jeremiah 29:11, God is talking to Jeremiah. He begins by detailing the future fall of Jerusalem. The Israelites had forsaken God yet again. He had given them chance after chance to repent and turn back to Him, but they chose their sin instead of their loving God. So God would allow them to be taken into captivity. Even a good and merciful God cannot allow His children to continue to hurt themselves by choosing captivity to sin. Consequences are necessary, but our good and merciful God didn’t leave the Israelites in captivity. Right after God explains the punishment the Israelites were about to face, He closes with this promise to restore them. “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.”(Jeremiah 32:40-41 NLT) what a blessing it is to serve a God who is good and merciful.
Our Shepherd lets us enjoy Him forever.
Not only do we get to enjoy daily fellowship with Christ as we walk in the Spirit, but we also have the promise that we get to see Him face to face. When talking to His disciples Jesus said, “”Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 NASB) We get to be where Jesus is. We get to fall before Him in worship and adore Him for eternity. Nothing on this earth will even come close to comparing to the joy we will experience with Him in heaven. What a promise.
Thank you for walking with me through Psalm 23. As I mentioned at the beginning, the Lord used this passage to encourage me when we began this process just over a year ago, so I have greatly enjoyed digging into this passage. I hope the Lord has used it to bless others as well.