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Goodness and mercy will NOT follow me!

God's Care God's Faithfulness God's Provision

Source: "Goodness and mercy will NOT follow me!" Facebook Post by Elizabeth Petrone Wheeler, 12/7/16, retrieved 12/5/22

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-12-07

Scripture: Psalms 23:6

Author: Elizabeth Petronne Wheeler


Anyone who's ever had a new puppy knows that sound of tiny paw pads following around behind you everywhere you go. You learn to instinctinctively look all around at your feet before taking a step, lest you trample the poor pup underfoot. Little puppies faithfulfully, playfully, and expectantly follow their humans around everywhere they go.

This image of the playful puppy serves as the perfect illustration of the promise of the Psalmist, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life ..."

Or does it?!

As one Bible student, Elizabeth Petrone Wheeler, has so aptly expressed:

What an inappropriate translation for Psalm 23!  The [Hebrew] word for 'follow' is the same word used [concerning] Pharaoh's actions ... after he had let the Israelites leave.  Did Pharaoh 'follow' them? No, he pursued them; he wanted them back!  The same word is used when Saul was looking for David. Was Saul 'following' David? No, he hunted him down!  This word is used many times when a person or group is chasing after another, even for revenge or destruction, and it is never translated as 'follow' except in Psalm 23. 

Perhaps the translators were trying to soften or cast new light on the meaning of a word so typically used in a negative context. Or perhaps they just don't appreciate the full force of the word. The Hebrew word translated 'follow' here in Psalm 23:6 literally means to persue or chase. See Strong's rendering, 7291.


Wheeler continues:

Make no mistake: the goodness of God is not following you like a puppy waiting to be noticed, it is pursuing you, chasing you down, hunting you, urging you to notice it.  The passion with which a man will hunt his enemy, the seething desire one has to see his foe destroyed is the same zeal, vigor and perseverance God uses to love, care for, and bless us. 

Turn around and acknowledge the one who has chased you for so long, and thank Him for His relentless pursuit and excessive devotion that allows your cup to be overflowing!

Our Promises vs. God's Promises

God's Promises Youth Sermons God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Chris Huff | Date Posted: 2021-12-13

Scripture: Galatians 3:16 ; Genesis 3:15

Author: Chris Huff


Several years ago, I was a youth minister at a church in Kentucky. I was only on staff at that church about a year and a half, but I learned a ton about ministry and people during that short time. One of the things that I learned was to over communicate everything and make sure you understand what people mean by their promises.

Our youth group was growing. I think one of the best things we did with the youth was encourage them to memorize Scripture. One of the ways we encouraged them was through group incentives. When they memorized so many verses as a group, they could pick which incentive they earned. So they earned things like lock-ins, pizza parties, and one time, they earned a trip to an amusement park.

In fact, a parent of one of the youth offered to pay for the trip to the amusement park for all the youth. And my wife and I were like, “That’s awesome! That’s so generous of you! Thank you so much!” So we got all the youth excited about memorizing Scripture, and they were bringing their friends to church, and we had a huge group of kids that were ready to go to the amusement park!

But then when it came time to go, and we told the parent how many tickets to buy, she was shocked. I guess she didn’t realize how many youth and their friends had been coming to youth group on Wednesday nights, and she clarified that she meant that she only wanted to pay for the youth who have been coming regularly on Sunday mornings. I mean, that was still generous of her, but at that point we had to figure out how we were going to pay for the other half of the youth to go, because we had promised them all a free trip to the amusement park!


I learned from that incident to over-communicate. When we thought we could count on a huge, generous promise, when it was clarified, it wasn’t nearly as good as we had thought.

Now, that tends to happen with people. We make big promises, but sometimes we have to apologize and clarify what we meant by our promises.

But here’s the thing, God never needs to apologize. And when He clarifies His promises, they always get better rather than worse. So we can put all our hope in His promises, knowing that His promise will not disappoint.

In Genesis 3:15, God first promised that the "offspring of the woman" would bruise the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12:1-7, we learn that the offspring of Abraham would bless the whole world. And in Galatians 3:16, we learn that this "offspring" is Jesus. As per God's modus operandi, the promise just got better and better! 

Asking And Receiving

Value (True Worth) God's Faithfulness Salvation

Source: Family life

Contributed By: Tim Franklin | Date Posted: 2015-03-16

Scripture: Luke 11:9

Author: Tim Franklin


My son learned to cook at a young age and really enjoyed the presentation part concerning the plating of a dish.  My wife and I came home one day to find that he had made a delightful Asian dish.  We were hungry and kitchen smelled of flavorful spices.  He was chatting away and smiling proudly as he plated our meal and sat them before us.  It was beautiful, fragrant and colorful!  He even placed an orchid on each of our plates.  It was then I realized, a few nights ago our neighbor was sharing with us her rare and beautiful orchid collection that was just beginning to bloom.  She had explained to my wife and I the beauty, value, rarity, and love that she had of these particular orchids.

I asked my son, "Where did you get these beautiful orchids?"  "Next door!" he replied.  My heart, started to sink.  "Did you ask if you could have these?"  "Yes dad."  "And our neighbor gave them to you?"  "Un huh!"  

The following day, I went to see my next door neighbor and inquire about the orchids.  "Your son is so cute." she said.  "He came over and asked if he could have two of my orchids.  He explained that he was making his mom and dad a Chinese dish and that he wanted the orchids for presentation on his plates.  He was so cute in asking!  It was such a noble thing he was doing!  I just gave them to him!" she said smiling.


Most people do not understand the tremendous worth of God's gift.  Like little kids, we have no idea the value of Jesus' death and resurrection in our behalf.  And like my neighbor, even though we don't realize the full value of what is offered, God still with great joy, freely gives what is most precious to Him, just because we asked.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Luke 11:9).

The Hardest Things To Do

Trials Trust (In God) God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-12

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: USA Today Sports Staff Writers / Illustration Exch

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Can Anyone Eat Just One

Temptation God's Faithfulness Discipline (Self)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-12

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:13

Author: unknown

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Faith and Its Object

Faith God's Faithfulness Promises

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2013-03-15

Scripture: Hebrews 6:18

Author: Stephen Kingsley

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The Prisoner's Dilemma

Betrayal Trustworthy God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-01

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11


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A Recipe For "Rat"-Atouille

God's Will Trust (In God) God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-03-31

Author: Mitchell Dillon

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Answered Prayer for Breakfast

Prayer God's Faithfulness Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-28

Scripture: Isaiah 33:16 ; Psalms 23:1

Author: Based on observations by the Editors of Nelson's A

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A Weapon In the Hand of a Loved One

Betrayal Friendship God's Faithfulness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-05

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:13

Author: Max Lucado

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