Psalm 23:6 (New Living Translation):
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.
The Word of God begins this wonderful verse with the word “surely” which tells the reader to pay special attention to the truth that follows. It means “truly, certainly, indeed and verily” and is a word of affirmative emphasis of the importance of the words that follow. God is saying, “I really want you to get the truth of this verse into your heart and soul.” The word “pursue” means: to search for eagerly, to track down, to hunt for someone with relentless abandon, to chase, to pursue ardently and to run after. It is to relentlessly pursue and chase after someone until you hunt them down. The word has an intensity and passion to it and is the same word used when a villain chases his victim or a predator hunts his prey. It is not a half-hearted effort, but has boundless energy and conviction behind the pursuit. I remember watching movies where there is a diligent search for a fugitive with dogs, and people are bringing every ounce of strength and manpower to track down this criminal. This gives you a mind picture of this amazing word in this verse.
Do you know what relentlessly pursues us and chases after us with a fathomless passion? God’s goodness and His unfailing love! Think about that for a moment and it will take your breath away. When I see such a great truth like this in the word of God, I often feel inadequate as a writer to be able to communicate its magnificent light. It is so big, awesome, and mind-boggling that every single day no matter where we are, God Almighty with boundless energy and conviction runs after us and tracks us down with His abundant goodness and faithful love. So often religion teaches just the opposite-that God could care less about us to pursue us every day, as He is too busy with other more important things. Religion also teaches that if he did pursue us, it is only to exhibit his anger and displeasure with us. This simply is not true. God wants you to know, understand, and experience His goodness and love every day of your life.
The word translated “unfailing love” is the Hebrew word “chesed,” which is so full of meaning that no single English word can capture it. This Hebrew word simply has no equivalent in the English language. It has been translated “mercy, love, grace, loving-kindness, favour, goodness, loyalty, steadfastness, faithfulness, devotion, constant love, and kindness.” The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words states there are three basic meanings to the word which always interact, and they are “strength,” “steadfastness” and “love”. The essence of the word is a robust love that never fades or falters; this love is completely reliable and constant; this love manifests itself to us with great mercy, tenderness, kindness, loyalty, grace, and goodness. This love is strong and steadfast. It is an eternal and committed devotion that encompasses all these wonderful expressions of love. This love is unfailing and absolutely faithful. It is devoted love in action. It is a committed love that only exists in a covenant relationship. The word implies personal involvement and commitment in a deep covenant relationship. God has made a covenant with us as His beloved children sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ. This covenant is God’s solemn oath and unbreakable commitment, His fierce loyalty and His undying pledge to you as His child every second of the day. A covenant bond is the highest and most committed relationship possible. This covenant represents an unqualified, total commitment of God to us as His children unconditionally, completely, and eternally.
We can be absolutely assured of this wonderful truth that God’s goodness and His chesed, His covenant unfailing love, mercy, kindness, loyalty, and grace will always relentlessly pursue and chase after you all the days of your life. You can’t hide from it. You cannot out run it. You cannot avoid it. It will never leave or forsake you. It won’t abandon you. When you are troubled, when you are down, when you are discouraged, and when you are in trouble, God’s amazing love, grace, mercy, kindness, and goodness are right there to help, encourage, comfort, and support you. No person, no economic policy, no world order, no satanic power, no troubling circumstance, and no overwhelming power can separate you from God’s goodness and unfailing love. This is God’s solemn promise and unbreakable commitment to His children.
And I will live in the house of the
And through the length of my days
the house of the Lord and His presence
shall be my dwelling place.
Bible in Basic English:
I will have a place in the house
of the Lord all my days.
New Jerusalem Bible:
I will make my home in the house
of Yahweh for all time to come.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
Not only does God’s goodness and chesed relentlessly pursue us daily, but we have the privilege of dwelling or living in the house or presence of the Lord forever. Where else would anyone want to live? I would rather be back home in the house of God than anyplace on Earth. Living in His presence transforms you; it cleanses you; it heals you. Living in His presence allows you to build a strong, intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Living in His presence makes you strong. Living in His presence allows God to bring to pass His heart’s desire of reproducing Himself in you. You begin to love, to have compassion, to touch, to care. and to speak the living Word like our Lord. Living in His presence changes the heart to where the Lord lives and moves through your words and actions. Living in His presence is living in the light and glory of God, and you will shine brilliantly in the midst of a tarnished world. Remember the great truth we studied of Yahweh-Shammah and the incredible blessing of His presence and knowing that He is there.
The word “live” in the Hebrew means: to dwell, remain, sit or abide and to have one’s home. It denotes living or being. Where is the home where your heart is living? Whose presence do you run to when everything seems to crumble around you? Where do you dwell in your mind and heart daily? Where do you go when things get tough? Where do you go when you get lonely? Where do you go when you get down? Where does your heart rest? Who or what dwells in your heart?
Wilson’s The NIV Application Commentary explains this phrase of “dwelling in the house of the Lord” in more detail:
Not only does the psalmist sit as an
honored guest at table with God,
but he looks forward in confidence
to dwelling in Yahweh’s house
forever…the temple is a symbol of
Yahweh’s presence with Israel. It is
here that God comes down in a
special way to be with his people.
It is here that they can approach him,
knowing they will find him…the
temple is the place where a prepared
people…and a mighty victorious God
converge in worship. To be present in
the temple is to be before God-to have
access to him in lament, praise, and
thanksgiving. To be ever dwelling in
the temple, then, means, to remain always
in God’s caring and effective presence.
Dwelling in God’s house, therefore, is
an experience of blessing and honor as
well as protection. In this context, Psalm
23’s spread table, anointed head and
overflowing cup are the gracious ministrations
of a welcoming host, who lavishes honor,
care, abundant goodness and protective
care on his guest…Dwelling in God’s house
is also an opportunity to experience God
intimately on an on-going basis…it is an
escape to the very presence of God himself…
To come to the dwelling of God is to
approach the very source of light and life…
Being in God’s presence implies the ability
to gain divine guidance in following the
way of Yahweh as well as to experience
the blessing of divine hospitality, abundant
provision, steadfast love, forgiveness,
protection, light and life…
To dwell in the house of the Lord is not simply to dwell in a place like a church or temple. It is bigger than that. It is to dwell, abide, and live in the literal presence of God. It is to experience God in all of His goodness on an ongoing basis. It is to commune, fellowship, walk, and talk with God and fully experience His love and blessings.
Psalm 27:4 (Amplified):
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek, inquire for, and
insistently require: that I may
dwell in the house of the Lord
[in His presence] all the days
of my life, to behold and gaze
upon the beauty [the sweet
attractiveness and the delightful
loveliness] of the Lord and to
meditate, consider, and inquire
in his temple.
Our one desire should be to diligently seek God first in our lives and live for Him. We should bask our lives in the light of His presence and the strength of His Word. The more we seek Him and get to know Him, our understanding will be enlightened as to the amazing beauty, goodness, delightfulness, and unfailing love of our Lord. Our heart and soul should follow relentlessly after God and cleave to Him with every ounce of strength we have. We should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and make it a daily priority to live our lives in constant awareness of His loving presence. God no longer dwells in a physical location, but He dwells in you, because of the mighty work of Christ in the new birth. From the moment you are born again, you have a divine union with God, and God in Christ dwells in every part of your being. You have a new spiritual divine nature born within you and have access to your Heavenly Father every second of the day. You are a son or daughter of God by birth. You are filled with all the fullness of Christ. You are filled with all the fullness of God. We know God is for us, and we know God is with us, but now God is in us. We must become God-inside minded. E.W. Kenyon powerfully states:
We are linked with God. He is now our
own very Father. We are utterly one with
Him. He is in us. We are in Him. He is
part of us. We are part of Him. We are
His children by nature. We are born of
Heaven. We are begotten of the Holy
Spirit. The Word has given us life. “Of
His own will He brought us forth.” The
union with the Master and with the
Father is beyond human intelligence.
The natural mind cannot not grasp it.
We stand in the presence of it, beggared
of the ability to fathom it, yet it is ours…
We are partakers of His nature. We are
born of His Spirit. We are indwelt by
His Word. We are kept by His grace…
This same Spirit that raised Jesus from
the dead does dwell in you. You have
asked Him to come in and He has taken
His place in you. This is the very genius
of Christianity. It is God in us. His ability
in us. He takes the weak, the useless and
the outcast, and makes them the leaders by
filling them with Himself. He takes common
men and makes them supermen…What more
could you ask?
You are not a nobody. You are not worthless. Your life is not meaningless. You are somebody, because God in Christ has made their home in you. God is living in you! Christ is living you! You are partakers of His divine nature, His ability, His love and His power in the new birth. He is your Father, your companion, your fellow laborer, your best friend, your comforter, your teacher, and your guide. His presence, His light, His power, and His ability are in you in complete fullness. You are the house of the Lord in this day and time, for the Lord lives and dwells in you.
Ephesians 3:19 (Amplified):
That you may really come to know
practically through experience for
yourselves the love of Christ, which
far surpasses mere knowledge without
experience; that you may be filled
through all your being unto all the
fullness of God [may have the richest
measure of the divine Presence and
become a body wholly filled and
flooded with God Himself]!
God wants you to practically experience the richest measure of His divine presence daily. You have been filled through your entire being with the fullness of God and are wholly flooded with God Himself. The word “filled” in the Greek means: to be filled to the brim and to be filled to capacity. It is like a glass of water that is absolutely filled to the top, where one more drop of water cannot go into it or it will overflow. We are filled to capacity with God’s divine nature, and it fills every cell, every tissue, every corner, and every cranny of our being. However, we must know, understand, and practice this great truth to maintain a living union and connection with Him. We are the house of the living God, so don’t allow that magnificent privilege to lie dormant but commune, fellowship, talk, pray, share, listen, and enjoy your Heavenly Father. Take time to study His Word, to pray continually, to be thankful, and to quietly meditate on His presence in you. Spend time with God and make it a priority. I am not talking about two rushed minutes in the morning when we are running out the door. Its more than 60 seconds reading a devotional or repeating a formalistic prayer written in a book. Spend quality time with God. Pour your heart and soul into it. Be passionate about it. Acknowledge Him and be aware of His presence throughout the day. We are so busy today that even though we have residing in us the fullness of God’s divine nature, we are hardly aware of it. God is sitting closer to us then our breath, awaiting for us to talk to Him, to draw near to Him, to cleave to Him, and to fellowship with Him. Nothing is more important than Him.
Excerpt from “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it WIll Transform Your Life”
Thank you for writing this. It has encouraged my heart and opened my eyes to a truth that I struggled believing absolutely true. My heart now KNOWS that I am relentless pursued all the days of my life, regardless of how I feel.