If ever there was a valley of the shadow of death, it’s what the disciples faced on Good Friday. If ever there was a table prepared in the presence of enemies, it’s what Jesus did on Easter Sunday. The death and resurrection of Jesus forever disarmed the powers of hell. Today’s episode falls days before we celebrate the redeeming love of God, which—according to Psalm 23:6 is also a pursuing love. If you look over your shoulder, you will see the goodness and mercy of God following you.
I would not have considered reading Psalm 23 the Wednesday before Easter if I hadn’t read it right before writing this episode. Kristi McLelland invited readers to turn to that beloved Psalm in the final pages of a Bible study she wrote called Gospel on the Ground. I just completed her study and spent time thinking about what she taught regarding the Hebrew word for “follow” in Psalm 23:6. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (NKJV)
“Follow” might have been translated like this: Surely goodness and mercy will chase me down all the days of my life. To help us visualize this chase, Kristi quoted a couple other Old Testament passages that use the same Hebrew word that appears in Psalm 23:6 as “follow”.
Genesis 14:14-15 says, “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them…” (NIV)
Exodus 14:9 says, “The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea…” (NIV)
Imagine if Psalm 23:6 went like this: Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me, chase me, and come after me in order to overtake me.
Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world. He came to seek and to save His lost lambs. The goodness and mercy He displayed on the cross still pursues us today. My friend, rest in the arms of your good shepherd. He has promised to lead you, restore you, comfort you and protect you. Happy Easter!
Bring encouragement to someone who needs to lay down in green pastures beside the still waters and rest in the promise of God’s goodness and mercy. Share this podcast and/or a link to my website: www.shawnamariebryant.com
This week’s scripture: Psalm 23