25th November 2011

The Chase

“Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me, every day of my life”
Psalm 23:6 (The Jerusalem Bible, 1966)

The other day in our London church we sang a version of the 23rd Palm. The song leader commented on how the Hebrew phrase in verse 6 implies that God chases us in order to bless us.

How true this is. Often we run from God, and God pursues us and blesses us. The MESSAGE rendition puts it this way, “Your beauty and your love chase after me every day of my life”.

David knew this intimately. God poured out his goodness on him. Even when David was going against all that he knew to be God’s way, God’s mercy was there with him. It is the same with us. We resist God, but God’s desire remains to bless us.

Usually we use the word “follow” in Psalm 23:6. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me”. This translation is fine but it can imply that God’s blessings are behind us and we are running ahead of them, trying to avoid being caught.

I bought a tasty treat once for my cat called Fudge. Fudge, who was flighty at the best of times, darted into the garden as soon as he saw me. He hid behind a bush, and then rushed behind a tree, but I followed him everywhere. When I caught him eventually and lifted him up in my arms as he tried to scratch me, I held out the food in my hand. Fudge devoured it too quickly, as he always did, and then he began to purr contentedly. In the course of time Fudge would come to me without running away skittishly. Maybe sometimes we are like my cat. We try to avoid being caught by God. The thinking in Psalm 23 is that no matter where we go or how we try to hide, God’s blessings are close at hand: we can’t escape them.

Don’t resist the Spirit of God. Let God’s blessings overtake and overcome you.

God chases you with His beauty, love, goodness and kindness.

Let Him catch you.

My Father, why do I run from you? Thank you that your presence is constant, that I cannot hide from your Spirit. Thank you that you chase me with your abundance of grace and mercy.
In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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