Psalm 23 is a personal Heart Song to the One who has loved us from the very beginning. Are you able to sing it?
As we continue our series about our Heart Song, consider the last two verses: You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honour me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 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.
As you listen to the Good Shepherd’s voice, you will begin to trust him more and more, and you will discover to him and him alone – you are enough; only with him can you sing: “I have all that I need.” When we go through the valley of dark shadows our fear makes us focus on the danger, the problems, the threats. The Good Shepherd tells us to focus on him – remember that he is with us, remember who he is, remember his care and protection. The more we trust him and follow him, we too will be able to say: “I will not be afraid.”
As the song concludes, the metaphor shifts from Yahweh is my shepherd and I am his sheep to Yahweh is my host and I am his guest. Although it seems like a completely different song, it is emphasizing the two key points from before – with Yahweh I lack nothing and with Yahweh I don’t need to be afraid.
The song ends by proclaiming, “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.” Think about that for a moment – God will pursue you with his love until your very last breath.
Consider about all the times you tried to hide from God. Something you said or did left you so ashamed that you were sure you had ruined your divine relationship; it had disqualified you from heaven. Maybe it’s happening right now and you keeping up appearances, your smile is forced, inside you’re broken; feeling forsaken. Listen to Our Heart Song. God has not forsaken you; he has not called off his pursuit; he’s seeking for you even right now and he will not stop until your very last breath.
Kind of overwhelming, isn’t it? Let me add one more part.
There is some Hebrew word play going on in the last part of the verse with the word “live.” It also means “return.” What the song is saying is, if you go away; if you are away right now and feeling like you have lost your way, his abundant hospitality will be the same when you come back.
In this world, we are often on the outside. It might be your gender, your age, the colour of your skin, your language, your social status, your education or abilities… Many things make us feel like we are outside; abandoned, rejected.
The Good Shepherd’s abundant hospitality, care and protection, and pursuit of our hearts tells us that even when this world leaves us outside, in Him we find belonging.