Would you permit me to launch into a flight of imagination?
What’s that noise? Hunting dogs? Oh, no!
My heart pounds double time as I race through the forest, the sound of the hounds drawing nearer all the time. Branches slap my face and briars rip my skin but fear propels me forward.
They’re baying right at my heels. I’ll never outrun them so I turn to face my pursuers—two enormous hounds bearing down on me. I brace myself, eyes squeezed shut, waiting for the impact of their attack and the pain on their knife-like teeth.
Well, they stop, raise up on their hind legs, and put their paws on my shoulders. Then they start licking me! Big, sloppy, drooly licks. I look at them and see fondness in their eyes. Wiping off slobbers, I reach to read the nametags hanging on their necks.
The one on the left is called “Goodness” and the “one on the right has a long name: “Mercy and Unfailing Love.”
Hmmm, that’s not what I expected.
You’re Being Pursued
If you love the Lord, did you know that something is chasing you? “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” (Psalms 23:6 NKJV)
The Message version says, “ “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.” Here’s another rendering, “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.” (NLT)
The word translated “follow” is râdaph in Hebrew, the original language of the psalm. According to Strong’s lexicon, some of its various usages are: to run after (usually with hostile intent; figuratively (of time) gone by): – chase, put to flight, follow (after, on), hunt, (be under) persecute (-ion, -or), pursue (-r).
Might we translate it, goodness and mercy hunt me all day?
I spent a lot of my life ducking and hoping God wouldn’t thump me if I got out of line. Look at the rest of Psalm 23. Does this sound like a God who is looking for a chance to whack you?
I’d say He’s sent his “twins”—goodness and mercy—to slurp you with His kindness. Look what He does for you: “No lack, rest, restoration, righteous life, no fear, God’s presence, God’s power for you, provision even when enemies are there, Spirit anointing (the Living Bible sees this head anointed with oil as the way people welcomed guests in that day, “You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!), more than enough, goodness and mercy, eternal life with the Lord.”
Wow! Bring out the towels! His blessings are dripping all over us.
Here’s a song that’s been pursuing me lately:
*Goodness of God
I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never failed me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
‘Cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me
With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
Some of us are running from God’s blessings. Those blessings are revitalization “vehicles,” to renew and refill us. Sometimes it is a messenger with God’s purpose for our life we’re running from (Jonah) Often it’s just God wanting to love on us (our kids attract our hugs).
If you’re running from God maybe you ought to stop, turn and look. You might find that God’s goodness, mercy and love, have been trailing you, wanting a chance to show you how much He loves you.
Listen to the song: “The Goodness of God”
“Lord, I don’t ever want to presume upon Your goodness and not ask for Your blessings.” Stormy Ormatin, Praying the Bible into your life
*Source: MusixmatchSongwriters: Ed Cash; Ben Fielding; Jason Ingram; Brian Johnson; Jenn Johnson Bethel Music
Image by Roman Michael Gottfried from Pixabay __