I looked left and then right. In that moment, I estimated my car’s ability, my driving skills, the speed of oncoming vehicles (from both directions) and calculated that I could pull out of the Academy Sporting Goods parking lot and onto the street with time and space to spare. So I did. And I was right.
However, the guy in the pick-up truck which I pulled out in front of disagreed… vehemenently. He yelled. He shook his fist. He blew his horn. When we got to a stoplight, he started to get out of his vehicle. And I started to get scared. The light turned green and I took off.
I was supposed to be going home on a lunch break, but now I felt like I was driving for my life. The guy just kept following me. I didn’t want him finding out where I lived. So I drove all over the place… making U-turns… taking back roads… speeding up… slowing down.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake this guy. So I finally decided to go home. I figured that maybe I could get there fast enough to get out of my car and into the house before he could get out of his truck and pummel me into little cookie crumbs. So I floored it and made it into my driveway.
But I wasn’t fast enough, and before I got into the back gate, he had pulled in the driveway, jumped out and was yelling at me. He had caught up with me, and I didn’t know what was about to happen.
Fortunately for me, he was all bark and all bite. It probably didn’t hurt that I was very apologetic and scared silly. He finally had enough of cussing and correcting, got back in his truck and took off. And I stood there shaking because I had not been able to shake him off my trail.
David closes out the 23rd Psalm by highlighting the character of the Good Shepherd… namely that God’s goodness and unfailing love… much like the guy whom I couldn’t shake… follow us constantly! Only God’s goodness and unfailing love don’t create fear or intimidation. Instead they bring us blessing.
The point of this verse is that we can’t shake God off our trail. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah says that we are all like sheep and we all stray off, but that our Good Shepherd chases us down with His grace and forgiveness. In the New Testament, Jesus told the story of a shepherd who had one sheep out of a hundred stray away and get lost, but the shepherd left the ninety-nine to go after the one. These other Scriptures reaffirm what David was saying. You can’t shake God off your trail.
For His sheep, the Good Shepherd’s goodness and unfailing love are like heat-seeking missiles which have locked-on to their target and cannot evade them eventually catching up. It’s so great to know that God is chasing us down… not to yell at us or threaten us, but to bless us… and help us… and forgive us.
In the end, David says that he will live in the house of the Lord forever. Who wouldn’t want to after discovering how amazing the Good Shepherd is to His sheep? God’s blessings will follow us all the way to forever in Heaven with Him. That’s a lot better than being chased by an angry guy in a pick-up… and I would know!