Where Will You Be, Forever?
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lordforever.—Psalm 23:5-6
Considering the story of David’s life helps us understand what he meant when he said, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lordforever.”When he set up his capital in Jerusalem, David wanted to build a temple to God. At that time the official place of worship was still the old Tabernacle, dating from the time of Moses. But God told the king, “You’re not doing it.”
David’s intentions were to be honoring. He may have been thinking, But I wrote all these Psalms and I’ve got the perfect piece of land. I have a vision for a place where we can sing and worship! God made it clear that it wasn’t David’s idea He was rejecting; it was David’s role as a warrior that made him unsuitable as the Temple builder. In God’s plan, David’s son Solomon would build the grand structure for His glory.
Imagine the disappointment of the greatest singer of Israel not beingable to build a house to God. First Kings 8:18 says, “But the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart.’” God revealed to David a phenomenal principle in the way He views both our intentions and our actions.
There is not a single person on earth who hasn’t envisioned some good things God might do with their life. So far, however, at least some of the righteous things you want to accomplish haven’t happened. Realize God is pleased “that it was in your heart.” Do you see what David is saying? This life is so short. Ultimately, I shall dwell in house of the Lordforever. I might not get to build the temporary Temple on earth, but I’m moving into the permanent one in heaven someday. When they start singing my songs, I’ll be in the front row. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
David communicates such confidence with his words. He declares, “I shall,” not, “I might, I may, or I hope.” I will! I know. Then he specifically notes that he will “dwell.” Not visit, or drop by, but settle down and be at home with the Lord.
And I love the intimate tone of the phrase “in the house of the Lord.”Not in the same country, the same city, or in the neighborhood. No. David—and you if you’ve received Jesus’ forgiveness by faith—are moving in to what Jesus called, “My Father’s house!” (see John 14:2). The Bible gives us many clues about heaven, but they all add up to this great idea—we’re going home! We will get to the place where we were ultimately designed to spend eternity. It was made for us and we’re made for it! What Revelation calls the new heaven and the new earth isn’t some alternative plan God had to come up with when humans fell into sin; heaven was the plan and destination for believers all along!
The last word is the best word in the whole psalm: “Forever.” You might ask, “How long is that?” It’s forever! Life here on earth is short. The deadline is coming fast. Eternity is racing toward us. Then the clock will stop. Time shall be no more. As the song says, “When we’ve been there 10,000 years. . . we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.” I can’t wait to run through the door and be with the Lord, FOREVER! I pray that confidence is yours in Christ today. I may not even know you, but I long for you to be there with me!
Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be as pleasing to You as David’s dream about the Temple, even though it wasn’t Your plan for him to build it. Direct my thoughts to what You may be leading me to do; and may my heart be willing to pursue Your call wherever it leads, right up to the moment I go to dwell in Your house forever! In Jesus’ name, amen.