When you think about Jesus, what kind of Savior comes to mind? Do you picture a Savior who is waiting for you to come to Him . . . or do you picture a Savior in hot pursuit of rebels on the run? Consider these inspired words that King David offered in the 23rd Psalm:
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
David knew that God is good (Psalm 34:8); that God is love (1 John 4:16); and that He is merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31). David’s life experience testified that his Savior is a Pursuing Prince.
Adam knew this by way of personal experience also. After turning his back on God and following the way of the serpent, Adam fled in terror when he heard God walking through the garden; no doubt he assumed that the Lord God was coming to destroy him and start over with some better dust! But to his astonishment, God was not pursuing him to punish; He was running to redeem. It’s a picture almost too hard to believe . . . too good to be true! The Creator and Sustainer of all things—the righteous and holy Judge of all the world—was pursuing two people who had decided to follow their own desires rather than the clear command of God . . . not to crush them, but to care for them.
Francis Thompson penned a poem titled “Hound of Heaven,” which beautifully depicts our God as a “holy hound” who is in hot pursuit of the hare. No matter where the hare runs and tries to hide, the hound will let nothing stop him from catching that rabbit on the run . . . but not to kill it; rather to caress with love! Is this not a wonderful picture of our God? No matter where we run to and try to hide, God will let nothing stop Him from reaching the objects of His desire: US!
In another psalm, David marveled, Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:7-10)
To know what David knew is a source of both comfort and courage. What comfort to know that goodness and love will pursue us all the days of our lives! And oh, what courage that truth brings to our hearts to face whatever storms blow our way! The courage to face the challenges of daily living is rooted in knowing that our God loves us and will work everything together for our very best interests. There is no question that some really bad stuff happens in this life. Yet through it all, God will ultimately turn it for our good and His glory.
One final point: Knowing that goodness and love will follow you wherever you go is one thing; to know that you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever is another thing altogether. The sheep are always at home with the shepherd; and if one wanders off, the shepherd will go after him and bring him back home.
All those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for their salvation can enjoy the deepest level of comfort and security and peace, knowing that God’s home is their home for all eternity. And along the way, their daily experience will be that goodness and love is in hot pursuit of them . . . regardless of the paths they travel.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!