Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life – PSALM 23:6
The Hebrew word radaph (pronounced raw-daf’) occurs 144 times in scripture. It’s a strong verb that carries the idea of a determined, persistent pursuit or chase with the purpose of overtaking. When we see radaph early in Bible, it is used with this imagery and meaning.
For instance, Genesis 14:14-15 – “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.”
We see it again in Exodus 14:9 – “The Egyptians - all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops - pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.”
And so the word appears as you move through the Old Testament. Ah, but then we get to the Psalms! Here, we find radaph in a beautiful place – at the end of the familiar, comforting great shepherd psalm.
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23 ends with this beautiful imagery of the goodness and love of God chasing after us. In ‘hot pursuit’ of us. Determined, persistent, relentless. What a comforting scripture to ponder!
No matter what we face tomorrow – loss, fear, troubling circumstances – we know Who’s behind us ... pursuing us. When it looks scary ahead, we can look back. And when we look back, we find testimony upon testimony, story upon story, of how the goodness and love of God have pursued us throughout our lives.
Think and pray
What troubles you lately? Are you facing difficult times? Spend time today envisioning His goodness and love in hot pursuit of you.
Lord, thank You for not giving up on me. For pursuing my heart. I give myself to You today. Overtake my thoughts, my agenda, my anxieties, and my self-sufficiency and let me walk in Your goodness and mercy. Amen.
Missy Wooten is the Events Coordinator for CBMC USA. She was a kindergarten teacher for 19 years prior to CBMC. She has a passion for mentoring and discipling women and enjoys serving at a local women’s ministry. Missy and her husband of 33 years have been Bible study leaders at their church since 2005. They love to travel, spend time with family, and open their home for times of fellowship and equipping and mobilizing the saints to carry out the Great Commission.