Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live. Psalm 23:6
David wrote this psalm not early in life as we so often image, but he wrote it towards the end of his life. Which means that David is reflecting back on how God has been a good shepherd to him, and is pointing out to us how God can be our good shepherd also.
The verb “pursue” is commonly used for attackers, but here the Lord’s “goodness and faithful love” (referring to covenant benefits) are personified as the ones who chased David throughout his life. “As long as I live” represents the Hebrew “for the length of days”. This is equivalent to the parallel “all the days of my life”. Though some translate this as “forever”, it is nowhere else used that way but always refers to one’s earthly life. “Dwell” (Hb yashav) is similar to the word for “return” (Hb shuv), in this verbal form, it differs only in the vowels. It is possible that the request is to return to the sanctuary of the Lord throughout one’s life, although the preposition “in” argues for the idea of “dwell”.
Either way you choose to interrupt the word “dwell” or the phrase “all the day of my life” and “as long as I live” David is telling us something even more important. David is telling us that we our only a temporary residence or a guest living in this world. That is why he wrote “I dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live”. To David the “house of the LORD” was the temple in Jerusalem, which was a man made structure that was not going to last forever. And to us the “house of the LORD” is our physical bodies, which are designed to not last forever. David was pointing out that his true home was not a temporary structure not made to last forever, but his true home was with God in a place that will last forever and with a body that will last forever. And the same is true for us today. The sooner we realize that this world is not our home, that we have “citizenship” elsewhere making us “ambassadors”, and that these physical bodies that we worry and fret over are just a temporary housing for us while we are living in this world as guests.
David knew he was going to a better place when his time “dwelling in the house of the LORD” was done here on earth. And how did David know this? He knew this because he had put his faith and trust in his Lord and his God for most of his life. And the same hold true for you. If you place your faith and trust in God, then you too will receive the promise of a better place when your temporary residency here on earth is at an end. And the way you do that is very simple and very easy. Pray this simple prayer:
Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you. Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place. I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life. Please begin to direct my life. Thank you for giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.