April 2, 2020


By Erin Bird

Today we have the joy of completing our series in Psalm 23. We already looked at the first part of the final verse, so this week we finish things up with the last half of verse 6, which says...

"...and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

As I studied this week's section of Psalm 23, I learned that the Hebrew word traditionally translated "dwell" could also be translated "return."

When I learned this, it got me wondering: Was David creating a bookend to his poem? He began the psalm with "sheep" imagery, then in verse 5 switched to "house" language. I had always just assumed David was continuing with the "house" language as he completed his poem ("dwell in the house of the Lord forever"), but now I wonder if he is combining the two images as he concludes his work of art.

Because if  the "sheep" language is actually being recalled here in verse 6 (and this is a big IF), it brings the image of God the Shepherd guiding David back to the sheep pen, which would have been at the "house of the Lord." And by returning back to the Lord's house, the sheep would know he is safe at home, where he will dwell for the rest of his days.

Dwelling in Peace
In these difficult days of dealing with a pandemic, we could really use the reminder that if our life is in Christ, we can "return" to the house of the Lord and truly dwell. Too often our minds dwell on the negative, worry about the "what if," yet God is inviting our hearts to dwell in His presence like a content sheep with its shepherd.

So if...

  • ...your mind is worrying about the COVID-19 virus...
  • ...you are mentally preoccupied with stress about work...
  • ...you are constantly checking your stock portfolio or bank account...
  • ...you are fidgeting from being confined to your home...

return to the house of the Lord and dwell in peace, because your Shepherd is still in control, even when the world around you seems to be confused or in chaos.

So rest. Breathe. And dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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