Old Testament Psalms Psalm 23 Dwelling with the Lord

Dwelling with the Lord

David’s heart for God

Christian’s love the story of David. We relate to him in his sinful actions. We see him go through times of persecution and remain steadfast in those times. We see him win great battles as he trusts in God. We love reading the Psalms that he wrote. In all of this we either see a man of faith we seek to emulate, or he gives us hope even in our failures. We love to say that he is a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22). However, what does that even mean? When we read the story of David, we see how we are like him in his actions, and we do not see the connection between his actions and his heart. I believe the last line in Psalm 23 teaches us what it means to be a person with a heart after God. David writes, “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Now, the Hebrew reads more like, “I shall return dwell in the house of the Lord for the length of days.” If Psalm is written during the time when David was fleeing his son Absalom in the wilderness, this translation could be very fitting. David leaves the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem when he is running for his life (2 Sam 15:25-26). This translation of returning and dwelling for the length of his days. However, we have no knowledge of when this Psalm was written, and everything would be speculation. I think both translations would be valid, but I will lean towards the common translation.

David’s heart is for God and God alone. David does not seek God for any earthly riches or wealth. David’s heartbeat is for the Lord. As he began the twenty-third Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd.” This truth remains true throughout the journey of the sheep in Psalm 23. David shows the highs and lows of the journey of the believer in this life; however the final verse is not the journey it is the destination. David’s focus on this Psalm has been on God. He has shown the attitude of the believer and the assurances of the believer. His heart is steadfast towards God. David writes in Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” If we want to grasp the beauty of this line in Psalm 23 we must share the same heart for God as David, because if not then we this line sounds dismally boring, not beautiful.

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