Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23 is familiar to most people, believers or not.
The view of God as a shepherd is an image which Jesus repeats and expands upon in the Gospels. Isaiah also depicts the coming Messiah in this imagery, contrary to most Jewish people’s ideal of the warrior king.
The Psalmist affirms surely – ak – at least, certainly, nevertheless – God’s goodness – towb – best, bountiful, favour – will follow – radaph (the only occurrence in the OT) – to chase, follow after, pursue – him/us.
I have purposefully left out the ‘love’ from the verse quoted at the top of the page, as in the Hebrew version it is written as mercy – checed – merciful kindness, loving-kindness, mercy or pity.
The Psalmist trusts and has faith in the ‘Good Shepherd’ for the protection and gifts God provides but there is something that he will give in return – I will dwell – yashab (this again is the only occurrence of this word) – make to abide, continue, make to dwell – in the house (it could be translated also as family) of the Lord.
The word translated as forever is also a little misleading. Rather than meaning ‘all the days in the future’ the Hebrew word yom means always or continually, implying daily or today and each day.
For what the Shepherd provides we are to continue in the family of God each and every day.
We ensure we remain in the House!