I’m not the only one with good ideas. Obviously.
It’s one thing I love about Bible study. When we open the Word, insights come flying of the page, and your insights will probably look different than mine. The same message will apply differently depending on the given day, moment, season, or struggle in life, along with the sure and certain message that transcends time and space – that hits home for the hearer in the First Century and is exactly the same for the hearer 2000+ years later.
I am convinced that one gigantic benefit of the Body of Christ is the gift of connection and insight. When we gather to be vulnerable and share what we hear from the Word for our own lives, we also reach across the table in a way we cannot completely understand to touch the life and offer insight for the person in study with us.
Last Fall, one of the women in our Bible studies at I Love My Shepherd shared with me a simple insight, passed along from her pastor to her years before, to those of us in the Word that day –
Open your Bible to Psalm 23:6 –
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
The Greek root word for follow here is radaph. It can mean to follow, to pursue, to chase, or even in certain circumstances, to persecute. Context helps translators choose which are most usable in Biblical translation. Look at the character of God, according to the Psalm as a whole:
And it is in His nature to pursue, as well as follow.
How many of you have had a situation in life that you can point to and say, “Mercy pursued me? He was after my heart, my mind, my soul, all of me.”
God is patient. He is loving and kind.
He is also jealous for His children. He sent Hosea to chase after Gomer. He sent the spies into Jericho for Rahab, among other things. He handed His mother to John from the cross. He found Saul on the road to Damascus.
He has a plan. He has a great big awesome plan that involves Mercy in your life, with a capital M.
Sometimes He sits and lets us do our thing. Sometimes we wonder what in the world He’s doing, where in the world He is. Sometimes we wonder if He’s even listening, but He has a plan. He is active, when we cannot see Him. He is active when we cannot feel Him.
His plan is for our good, for mercy to come in, for loving-kindness to infiltrate, and He knows just the right time. His plans are always best and oh so worth the wait.
In all of this He is always, always pursuing us; never for a moment are we not on His mind and in His heart.
Some days, friends, I need to know that I’m worthy of pursuit. Because God calls me Child, He also calls me pursued. When I look to other people to seek after me, to honor me, and deem me worthy… I can look around and find His mercy, which was the only thing that ever mattered all along.
Someone needs to know Mercy pursues them, so let’s tell them.
Christ Jesus pursues me.
Christ Jesus pursues you.
Today, know that Goodness and Mercy is after you, because you are worth chasing after. Radaph –