Pastor Chris Delmadge
Blessings Will Chase You Down
March 25, 2020
“Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” - Psalm 23:6
Have you ever been chased by a guard dog in the middle of a hot day in July? No? Well, let me tell you about the time I embarrassed myself as I was trying to show off in front of my cousin’s friends. Every summer, my parents would allow me to hang out with my cousins who lived in St. Albans, Queens, which was a nice little suburb of New York City. It was very different from where I grew up. They were able to ride their bikes in the streets and their house had a driveway. Trust me, I thought that was very cool. My cousin also had some cool friends, and we would spend the summer days playing outside and riding bikes up and down the block. On one particular day, we decided to mess with a neighbor’s dog. I don’t remember what kind of dog it was, but I do remember that it was a big, dirty dog that drooled a lot. We spent an hour or so antagonizing it because it was chained to its doghouse. I mean, what could it possibly do to us...if its chained to its doghouse. I don’t remember who came up with the idea, but someone suggested that we should play a game to see who can get close enough to the dog without getting scared. (Brothers and sisters, this has got to be one of the dumbest games ever created during the dog days of summer.)
I suppose I was the dumbest one, so I went first. I hopped over the fence to prove my daring courage. The dog started barking and jumping, but I was brave...because the dog was chained to its doghouse...until the chain popped!! The dog, with such ferocity and speed, began to lunge towards me. I believe that I saw my life flash before my very eyes. I turned with incredible speed, and I flew towards the neighbor’s front gate. It must have been about 20 to 30 yards from the doghouse to the front gate. I never moved that fast in my life. I hurdled over that gate like an Olympic champion and fell flat on my chest. Was I embarrassed? Yes, but at least I was safe from the dog. That dog got the last laugh that day, because it chased me right off of its property.
As David ends the 23rd Psalm, he completes it with a sense of great confidence because of the protection and provision of his Shepherd. By using the word “surely”, he displays an absolute certainty that his Shepherd is caring for him. He writes, “Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life...” He is confident that his life is going to work out. Even if he is in the middle of experiencing a “dark valley season”, he is certain that his Shepherd is going to bring him through. How do I know this? Because he chooses to use the word, “follow”. He states that “goodness and mercy will follow me...”. That word “follow” in Hebrew is radaph, and it means to pursue, to run after, to chase. In the same way that the dog was chasing me with the intent of sinking its teeth into my hind parts, David says that goodness and mercy will pursue him for the rest of his life. That is absolutely amazing!
One of the benefits of having a loving Shepherd is that goodness will chase you down. Loving-kindness will pursue you. There are benefits to living a life that honors the Lord. There is a confidence that exists when you live your life according to the Word of God. According to God’s Word it states, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:” (Deut. 28:2). It goes on to describe that those who obey God’s Word would be blessed in the city and in the field. There will be blessings in your body and in your household. You will be blessed with the product of your hands and in your finances. You will come into your house blessed, and you will leave your house blessed. Your enemies will be defeated before your very eyes. They will come against you in one way, and run away in seven different ways. These are the blessings of the Lord, and David said that these types of blessings will chase you down, like a dog chasing your pastor! Know for sure that the Lord is on your side today. Even in the midst of this global pandemic, you are blessed and your blessings are chasing you down! Embrace the benefits of obedience, because there is confidence in understanding the love of your Shepherd.
Blessings will chase you down!
Now that’s Good Word!