Red Chair Moments
Monday, January 5, 2015
Images of The Dukes of Hazzard, Boss Hogg, and Rosco P. Coltrane flood my mind, as I study God’s Word, thus proving (at least to me) that God has a sense of humor. You might be wondering why I can compare a 1980’s television program to the Bible. Read on.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6 NIV)
I love to study words. I enjoy learning the meaning, origin, and historical use of words. When I researched the words “follow me” used in many translations of Psalm 23, I learned something rather interesting. The Hebrew word for follow me is the same Hebrew word used in Exodus 14 to describe Pharaoh’s army pursuing or chasing after Moses and the Israelite people in the desert. It was Pharaoh’s hot pursuit of Moses and God’s people that lead to the famous parting of the Red Sea.
The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. (Exodus 14:23 NIV)
Hot pursuit! I’ve read and recited Psalm 23 hundreds of times, but today it takes on a fresh and passionate perspective in my life!
Surely goodness and mercy will chase after me and pursue after me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6 my version)
God’s goodness and mercy doesn’t just follow behind us passively like a stroll through the park. Oh no! God’s goodness and mercy is passionately chasing us down, hunting us down. God’s love, goodness, and mercy is on hot pursuit after us!
Hot pursuit, those words stir up images of Rosco P. Coltrane chasing down the Duke boys on the show Dukes of Hazzard. I chuckle at the notion of God using my favorite childhood television program to speak to my heart.
Just as Boss Hogg and Rosco P. Coltrane chased after the Duke brothers so does God’s goodness and mercy passionately chase after us. Day after day, we can wake up without feeling consumed by our current circumstances. Day after day God brews us a fresh batch of goodness and mercy- a fresh batch every morning (Lamentations 3: 22-23).
“Morning by morning, new mercies I see” says the old hymn.
God showed me something else while I was reading the story of Moses in Exodus 14.
The LORD will fight for you; you only need to be still. (Exodus 14:14 NIV)
Be still and know that I AM God. (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
We are busy people, running busy lives. We run to exercise, we run our businesses, and we run our households. We run errands on our day off. We run to work, to music lessons, to soccer practice, and to the grocery store. Are we running from God?
In that “still small voice”, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me “Stop running! Turn around. Stand still and let God’s goodness and mercy catch up with you!”
Lord, I am so thankful that your goodness and mercy chase me down day after day. Lord I am so thankful that it doesn’t depend on me or my behavior, or my attitude because I would never receive any of it, if it did. That is your mercy! Lord, thank you for passionately pursuing after mankind, even when mankind doesn’t acknowledge you. You are good and merciful! Lord, teach me to stand still and let your goodness and mercy, which has been on hot pursuit after me, catch up with me. I love you, too Lord! All the more!
Stop running! Turn around. Stand still and let God’s goodness and mercy catch up with you!