13. Where we’re going

“Hound of Heaven” Meditations: 13. Where we’re going

Psa 23:2  he leads me beside quiet waters

Moving on from thinking about lives of individuals, we move on to what is probably his most famous psalm and we’re going to see that what he learned of God is what the hound of heaven is pursing us for, where He’s working to get us to.

As a boy, David had been a shepherd and knew something of sheep and what the shepherd did with the sheep. Thus he pictures the Lord as his shepherd (Psa 23:1). One day Jesus would use the same analogy when he twice said, “I am the good shepherd.” (Jn 10:11,14)

Whether it is as a hound, a sheepdog or actually as the shepherd the Bible shows us God as the one who first pursues and then leads us. As the God Shepherd Jesus pursues us, calls us and then leads us: He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (Jn 10:3,4)

But back to Psa 23 where David conveys what he has learned about the role and goals of a shepherd and thus what he has learned what the Lord wants to do for us. He shows us the end picture, if you like. The Lord has pursued us, called us and now leads us and David says that one of the things He does (and we’ll see some more goals in the next two studies) is lead us beside quiet waters.

Other versions have ‘still waters’ or ‘peaceful streams’ or ‘calm pools of water’ or ‘calm water’ or ‘waters of rest’, but they all seek to convey the same idea. God’s goal is to lead us in life to a place of peaceful provision, tranquil and calm drinking.

Compare this picture with so much that is seen and experienced in the twenty-first century: a life of activity and busyness, a life of hustle and bustle, a life of anxiety and stress, a life of noise, commotion, turmoil, upheaval, constant communication, of challenging ideas and ideologies, thoughts and ideas competing for our allegiance, newscasts seeking to grab our attention every minute of the day, programs, podcasts, texts, e-mails, Instagrams and so much more.   Now come back to this picture of our shepherd pursuing us, calling us and then leading us into a place of calm, peace, tranquility, serenity. What a difference! Perhaps you have struggled with this idea of the hound of Heaven pursuing us, but this is where He desires to take us, a place that is only possible through, first the work of Jesus on the Cross, then of being filled with and led by his Spirit, and then simply ‘knowing him’ day by day. Meditating for us is not emptying our minds as the world does, but by filling it with His presence and thus His peace, for wherever He makes His presence manifest, there is peace.      

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