Psalm 23: Part 6
Text: Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,”
A Testimony of Surety. Satan has no old happy people. We need to learn this principle: Satan gives his best first and his worst last, but Jesus gives the best first and even then it gets better. Everyone of us could write two volumes. One on the goodness of God and on on the mercy of God. We could write about the goodness of God which has met our failures. His goodness is His provision for the good times and His mercy is His provision for the bad times. Goodness takes care of my steps and mercy takes care of my stumbles. Yet, all of our days must come to a close – “all the days of my life.” Yet, when our days are over we can still say, “The best is yet to come! To die is gain. We will dwell in the House of the Lord.”
The Certainty of It – “Surely…..I will.” Jesus reinforced the certainty that David spoke of in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Heaven is a real place. It is not just a state of mind or condition. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place.” Where is heaven? The Bible says that heaven is up. Yet, up seems to be a different place around the globe. But there is one place that is always up no matter where you are on the face of this globe. North is always up. See Isaiah 14: 13-14, Psalms 75: 6-7.
The saved go to this place immediately upon death. There is no soul sleep. See 2 Cor. 5: 6-8. We read in Acts 7:56 that Stephen saw the Lord and asked Jesus to receive his spirit. The kind of place to which we go is a place where there is no sin, sorrow, suffering death or disease or doubts. See Rev. 21:4. The presence of all that is good and the absence of all that is evil will be the Christian’s final abode. It will be all the loving heart of God can conceive and the omnipotent hand of God can prepare. It will be a place of meaningful service. See Rev. 7:15.
The Company of It – “The house of the Lord.” Jesus said that heaven is a place of many mansions or dwelling places. Think of all the saints who will be there. Mark Twain was reported to have said, “I will take heaven for climate and hell for society.” How wrong he was.
Will we know our loved ones in heaven? Remember the story of David’s little boy? See 2Samuel12:8-23. The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. They had never previously met either of them. Our fellowship will surpass anything we have ever known on earth. All around will be that shining cloud of witnesses – the redeemed of all the centuries serving the same Savior. There will be such a crowd there and so much to do that eternity will seem too short to fellowship with all of them. Most of all, Jesus Himself will be there. After all, it is His house, the “House of the Lord.”
The Consistency of It – “forever.” Sheep are continually moving. They never settle down and stay in one place very long. The word “dwell” means to settle down and be at home. The “House of the Lord” is a state of constant joy; no more sorrow, no more separation. It will be for eternity – a long time. We’ll be “dwelling in the house of the Lord.” What a happy ending!
Conclusion: Can you testify, “The Lord is my Shepherd?”
A pilgrim was I and a-wandering
In the cold night of sin I did roam.
When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me
And now I am on my way home.
He restoreth my soul when I’m weary.
He giveth me strength day by day.
He leads me beside the still waters,
He guard me each step of the way.
When I walk through the dark lonesome valley;
My Savior will walk with me there.
And safely His great hand will lead me
To the mansions He’s gone to prepare.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days – all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever,
And I shall feast at the table spread for me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.
(John W. Peterson – Alfred B. Smith)