Encourages Us to Rest in God's Mercy
Surely without question, guaranteed, no doubt, goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life amidst ups and downs, amidst challenges and trials and temptations, and mountains and valleys.
What is the message of Psalm 23:6?
David expresses his conviction in this verse that the Lord's goodness will be with him throughout his life.
Whether green pastures and still waters lay ahead, or David was required to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord's goodness would accompany him.
David celebrates the protection and guidance of God. Sheep guarded by a skilled shepherd are led to food and water, and protected from harm. In the same way, David praises God for giving him peace.
The knowledge of God's protection and provision are a great comfort. This psalm incorporates themes of supply, defense, assurance, and care from God.
The whole of this Psalm is a meditation on what the Good Shepherd does for His sheep. And David’s faith is strengthened as he takes in what the Lord does for him.
His first thought is “I shall not want” but by the end, he is able to say something even better: ‘Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
A Love That Pursues
Douglas Macmillan quotes a Scottish shepherd who preached on the verse we are looking at today: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Think of a shepherd walking in front of his sheep.
The sheep follow him, and behind them are two sheepdogs chasing after the stragglers, and keeping the flock close to the shepherd.
The Good Shepherd has two sheepdogs; one is called ‘Goodness.’The other is called ‘Mercy.’
I love that picture. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. The Good Shepherd keeps me close to Himself through His goodness and mercy that are always chasing after me.
Let’s take a look at these two lovely sheepdogs:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Someone may say, “Well my life is filled with a great deal of trouble.”
You can easily list many things that are not as you would want them to be. Sin has brought its devastating effects into the world, and things are not as they should be in our world, our country, our work, our churches, our homes or in our own hearts.
But there is good in your life too. James says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” (James 1:17).
Everything good in your life comes from the loving hands of God. So, thank Him for it. Sinners blame God for everything and thank Him for nothing. Believers thank God for everything and blame Him for nothing.
Goodness is God giving us what we don’t deserve, and if you belong to the Good Shepherd, God’s goodness is always chasing after you.
If God was chasing after you with judgment and condemnation, of course you would run. But why would you run when you are being chased by goodness and mercy?
God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance (Rom 2:4). God’s goodness and mercy are chasing after you to bring you closer to the Good Shepherd.
And David is in no doubt about this. He says Surely goodness and mercy will follow me.’ When you belong to the Good Shepherd, you can be sure about this:
God chases after you, not in judgment and condemnation, but in goodness and mercy.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
Remember, David has already said that the Good Shepherd leads His sheep. He leads me beside still waters. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The Shepherd is in front of the sheep.
But now he says that the Shepherd’s goodness and mercy follow the sheep. So, in Christ, you are encircled in the love of Christ.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Goodness is God giving us what we don't deserve. Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve. God chases after us with mercy. That is good news, because if God chased after us in justice we would all be in trouble.