Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
This "house of the Lord," observe, is on the other side of "the valley of the shadow of death"; and therefore it is just a description of heaven; and if the character of a shepherd sets forth the conduct of God towards His people while in this world, the character of a monarch sets forth His character towards them in the world to come.
I. THE SCENE REFERRED TO. "The house of the Lord."
1. Because it is the scene of His familiar glory.
2. Because it is the temple of His worship.
3. As it is the palace of His kingdom.
4. As it is the abode of His family.
II. THE ASSURANCE EXPRESSED BY THE PSALMIST. "I will dwell in it."
1. This language implies the assurance, on his part, of the existence of a state of future blessedness. Reason says there must be such a state; conscience says there is such a state. Hence men often lull their conscience; but there it is — they cannot destroy it, and ever and anon conscience speaks like thunder. Like some chemical characters, in certain temperatures they are illegible; but raise the temperature and they appear in all their reality. But apart from these considerations, let us come to the revelation of the Bible. Jesus taught immortality: no one taught it as He did; no one preached it as He preached it. He said, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
2. The extent of the Psalmist's assurance. He says, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." He only sojourned in it here. Man is never satisfied here. There is quite enough here for the satisfaction of the animal; and the mere animal lives here in contentment, and takes its fill of happiness for its little inch of time. But not so man: man is a rational being. If he were a mere intellectual being, and nothing more, then he might dwell here. But man is not a mere intellectual being; he is a moral being, a spiritual being, and therefore he cannot dwell here. "But in the house of the Lord," says David, "I will dwell forever." "I shall have enough there."
3. The Psalmist's strong confidence of dwelling there "forever." This confidence rests in the promise of God, the finished work of the Redeemer and the sealing of the Holy Ghost. Let this prospect reconcile us in the midst of all affliction, if we be Christians, and let us prepare for that dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.
(Joseph E. Beaumont, M. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.