For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.
I began my working life as a temporary seasonal sales assistant for Marks and Spencer in Crawley. The role was for a couple of months over the busy Christmas period. Since, at that time, I hoped to build a career in retail, I was overjoyed and delighted when my role was made permanent at the beginning of January. As it happens, the permanence of that particular role was somewhat limited, as I left in May to take on the permanent role of Junior Manager within the company. Actually, that role was not particularly permanent either, as they made me redundant less than a year later. Of course, the reality is that whilst we may speak of something being permanent, it seldom is. Circumstances change, people move away, companies close down, people die. When you think about it, the word ‘permanent’ is something of a misnomer.
That is, until you get to the verse that we’re looking at today. Here, in the concluding verse of this thought-provoking psalm (do read the full thing), the Psalmist tells us that God ‘is our God for ever and ever’. God won’t abandon us. If we accept Jesus as our saviour he won’t reject us. He won’t change his mind in a few years time and move on. God is our God for ever and ever. That’s quite a revelation, and one that, as human beings with a limited grasp of the infinite, we can find quite difficult to comprehend. It is deeply reassuring, however. God will be with us until the end of our lives – and beyond! God’s permanence stretches beyond the grave too!
The Psalmist also tells us that God ‘will be our guide even to the end’. God will be our shepherd, leading us along the right paths, across green pastures, beside still waters, and yes, even on occasions through the darkest valleys of our lives. The key is, though, that through all of this, God guides and leads us. When we follow his paths he supports us and blesses us. Once more, this is a permanent arrangement. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he will lead us safely through death and into his permanent, perfect kingdom on the other side. With God as our guide, there really is nothing to fear!
So today, rejoice that God is our God for ever. Give thanks that amidst all the impermanence of our daily lives, God is permanent, always there, for ever. Rejoice too that God is a faithful guide, never abandoning us or leaving us to our own devices, but lovingly guiding us through life, through death, until we join him in glory in his eternal kingdom. Even then his leadership will not end. Wow!