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40 Days of Hope
Friday, April 5
Dwelling in the Lord’s Presence
Today we come to the end of this majestic Psalm. We continue to stand in awe of our Shepherd. David had experienced both the personal responsibility of being a shepherd and the blissful joy of having a shepherd. Psalm 23 was written from profound personal experience. Perhaps that is why it has been such an enduring and endearing message for God’s people for centuries.
David concludes the message with a resounding note of hope. God’s goodness and love (or mercy) will pursue us all of our days. We can’t escape them! That is good news!
God is a good God. His very essence is goodness. He desires what is best for us. We never have to doubt His goodness. His will is always best. His way is always the right way. So, His goodness is constantly on display in His creation and in our lives.
God is a God of mercy and love. The Hebrew word here is “hesed” and can be translated with either mercy or love in English. It is used often in the Old Testament. It signals the unfailing love of God that leads to His merciful acts. His loving kindness is revealed through His mercy as He cares and guides His people. It is a word that is too robust in Hebrew to just have one word in English capture its meaning.
David is declaring that life in the presence of God is like dwelling in His house! When we live at God’s house, we enjoy the full benefit of His presence, goodness, and love. This is the ultimate experience for God’s people.
Perhaps David is looking forward to the glory of God’s people in heaven. That is certainly a possibility. He is longing for the day when God’s presence is the only thing we will know. This may also be in mind when he references God’s table in the prior verse.
However, God’s presence is available now for His people. We will know it most fully in heaven. But we can experience the beauty and majesty of His goodness and love on earth. He is our ever-present Shepherd. His love for us is a given. His goodness is available to us each day. We can enjoy dwelling in His presence wherever life takes us.
Read this Psalm in its entirety today. Maybe you can re-write it in your own words to communicate more personally how you have experienced the Lord as your shepherd.