1Yhwh is my shepherd…6Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Shepherd song now reaches the end. David has praised Yahweh for the provision, protection and ‘promotion’ He has given to His people. David concludes by singing of Yahweh’s promises.
6Surely goodness and love will follow me…
There is a certainty to all God’s promises. David knows that surely Yahweh will keep His promises; what He says he does. And what is it that is promised? First, David recognizes Yahweh’s promise of His goodness and love towards David.
The word ‘goodness’ refers to something ‘beautiful’ or ‘pleasant’; it is that which is good from God’s perspective, primarily that that which is becoming to, or ‘adorns’ the life of faith (see 2 Peter 1:5-8 and Titus 2:9-10). The term ‘loving-kindness’ is used to attempt to capture the meaning of the Hebrew word hesed, which is the unique, covenantally based love and favor of Yahweh for his faithful people (it is, as near as I can tell, the OT equivalent of the Greek agape used in the NT). This ‘goodness and love’ of God will follow me. Here is the sense of a pursuit or a chase, which what the Hebrew term for ‘follow’ conveys. Yahweh longs for and desires to win over His people and He follows hard after them with the purpose of overtaking them and making them His special possession. David rejoices in this pursuing passion of Yahweh.
…all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The second part of the promise is found in these words about the duration of Yahweh’s pursuit of David: all the days of my life. The Lord never tires in His chase to make His people whole and blessed; each and every moment of each and every day God’s presence is near and real for His people. But—O the wonderful truth!—the ‘goodness and loving-kindness’ of the Lord does not cease when a person dies, but carries them on through death in the promise of new and eternal life: I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Hebrew literally reads, I will dwell unto perpetuity of days meaning ‘all the days of this life and all the days of the age to come’.
What promises! What blessings for God’s people to look forward to; to hold onto with hope and joy! These promises are certain. Sometimes we fail to see the ‘good’ in things, but God always knows what is good and I am confident that God is bringing good out of all situations. God’s unique ‘hesed’ is mine because I am one of His ‘sheep’. The goodness and love of the Lord will chase me down every day because He loves to lavish them on me. (see Matthew 7:9-11; Romans 5:5, 9-17, 8:28-29; 1 Timothy 1:14; Titus 3:4-6). I live in confidence knowing that because I am God’s child, He will always have a place for me in His ‘house’, both the body of believers here on earth or in His forever Kingdom.
All this is possible only because Yahweh is my Shepherd. I own no other; I desire no other. Yahweh alone—His provision, His protection, His ‘promotion’, His promise. I have the goodness and hesed of the Lord hot on my trail. It overcomes me and I gladly surrender. In this life and all the ages to come, I will sing of my shepherd.