Home. “The house of the Lord.” The concept of a specific place to dwell has a deeply emotional effect on the heart of every person. Imagine what it meant to David, a shepherd who knew all about the nomadic life. Shepherds were on the move their whole lives, regularly pitching and moving their tents as they rotated through the fields to keep their sheep happy and the land healthy.
David’s life was a pilgrimage, a journey home. He traveled through many fair meadows and dark valleys. He had his share of storms and adversaries. But God, the Good Shepherd, never failed to care for him. In Psalm 23:6 David reveals he’s ready for his troubled trek to end. He’s ready to go home!
“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
What did David mean by “the house of the Lord”? We know he’s not referring to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem because it wasn’t built yet. And it wasn’t the house David wished to build for the Lord because he uses the word “forever,” and no man-made house lasts that long.
No, David must be referring to something far greater than a building. A forever fellowship with Jehovah beyond the grave. David was a king—and a wealthy one at that. And he possessed worldly riches and had access to any pleasure. But these worldly pursuits didn’t—and couldn’t!—compare with the eternal pleasure of being at home in the house of the lord… living with the Lord of the house forever!
I well remember wrestling with my emotions when our daughter Katherine graduated from college and wanted to live in an apartment with a group of her college friends. Why would she want to live with a group of young women when her own home, the place where she belongs, is only eight minutes away? What’s wrong with living here?
But Katherine was 22 years old, and the move was an obvious next step on her way to independence and maturity. So off she went to an environment that turned out to be a blessing. She learned how to cook for others on a regular basis, to keep her part of the apartment clean, to enhance her side of the bedroom with her things, and to get along with others on a day-in day-out basis.
But I’ll never forget Katherine’s words the day she moved back home as she prepared for her wedding. She sank into the sofa with a sigh and exhaled, “Mom, it’s ok out there, but it’s just not home!”
I think Katherine’s sentiment is what David is telling us: “It’s OK out here (in the world, in the marketplace, in our friendships, in our experiences, in managing our challenges), but it’s just not home!” We yearn to be in a permanent, loving family, not just guests or people passing through momentary situations and relationships. And that’s what our forever home means to us!
May our hearts ever reflect this truth as we contemplate the hope we have of an eternal home where we dwell with the Lord forever.
A Prayer to Pray:
Lord, help me to relish in the “home” that you have for me made up for me — built of Your unconditional love, Your eternal life, and Your joy everlasting.
For more encouragement your daily life, check out my book, Quiet Confidence for a Woman’s Heart.