Theme: Our Heavenly Home
In this week’s lessons we see how Jesus, as our shepherd, gives us everything we need in this world as well as in the world to come.
Scripture: Psalm 23:1-6
6. I shall not lack a heavenly home. The twenty-third psalm portrays life as a pilgrimage, and in the final verse the psalmist rightly comes to life’s goal, which is God’s house. “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
To have a sure home has always been a desire of the nomadic people that occupied the area of the Near East bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the great Arabian desert.
T. E. Lawrence, who gained fame as Lawrence of Arabia during the first World War, wrote of this in his classic volume Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He tells in the opening pages of that book how, because of the geography of this area, one tribe after another came out of the desert to fight for the lush Judean highlands which contained the best trees, crops and pastures. Under Joshua the Israelites were one of these peoples. When a group like this succeeded, the conquered people generally moved just a bit south into the Negev, which was also good land though not so good as the highlands. They in turn displaced others, and those still others, until the last of these people were pushed out into the desert with nothing before them but Damascus. For most of them Damascus, with its ample rivers and fields, thereby became a symbol for the end of life’s long passage.
We too long for such a home. Only our home is not Damascus. It is the place the Lord himself, our good shepherd, has gone to prepare for us. “I am going… to prepare a place for you,” he said. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be with me where I am” (John 14:2, 3). John writes of those who are to dwell in that land in the very last book of the Bible: “Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 7:16, 17).
These blessings have been achieved for us by the shepherd who became a lamb to bring us this salvation. He is both lamb and shepherd. Is he your lamb? Has he become your shepherd? If he is and has, you will not lack rest, life, guidance, safety, provision or a heavenly home. You will lack nothing essential in time. You will lack nothing in eternity. You will be greatly blessed, and you will be able to say with David, “The LORD is my shepherd.” Hallelujah!
How is this life portrayed in this psalm?
How does the Bible describe our heavenly home?
Application: Are you longing for your heavenly home the way sheep long for their rich and abundant pastureland in the summer?
For Further Study: James Boice’s classic study of the Psalms is available as a three-volume paperback set. Order your copy and take 25% off the regular price.