Goodness And Mercy
Psalm 23:6… “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ”This verse has so much deep meaning and beautiful symbolism! Let’s explore it!
The word “goodness” means nutritious (it’s good for me), the beneficial part, moral excellence, virtue, kindness, excellence of quality, generosity, essence or the best part of anything. The best of God; that alone sounds amazing! His kindness and generosity is going to follow me around? I’ll take it.
Mercy means compassionate, kindly forbearance, favor and blessing. Having those attributes of God following me around, heck yea! I’m not sure about you but mercy is very much what I need. I mess up a lot. Shocker. I’m not even sure how God puts up with some of my crazy! But I ‘m so very thankful He does and gives me favor and blessing to boot! Win win!
Then…I have the promise that I can dwell, stay, reside, and have a permanent retreat with Him, forever. I love retreats, especially when there is a spa included!
So to sum up the whole of Psalm 23, the Lord is my Shepherd so I don’t have to lack. He gives me green pastures and streams of provision as He restores my brokenness. When I’m walking through difficulties He’s there with what I need. He leads and guides me through the darkness. He gives me more than enough of all that I need right in the middle of my mess and then follows me around with the best of Himself while being compassionate. Dang!!!
I know all of this sounds to good to be true. It is for some. You see this is all conditional. God will only do His part but we have to do our part, He won’t do our part for us. He requires me to trust Him to do all of these things this Psalm states. It doesn’t happen automatically. We have an enemy also that will oppose us at every turn, so we will have to fight for these promises in our lives. That is where most people fail… they fail to fight.
Giving up or believing that if it’s going to happen God will just make it happen denies the aspect of free will. God has already provided all that I will need but I have to choose it, to believe it, and to contend for it sometimes. Like the last verse that states, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ”That promise is for everyone and God provided it for us all but not everyone will experience it.
When God created man, we were given a free will. We can choose Him and His promises or decide not to. He never forces anything on us. He provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him, (John 3:16a, for God so loved us that He gave His only Son) but it must be acknowledged and believed personally (John 3:16b, that whosoever would believe on Him should not perish BUT have eternal life).
We all live forever, where we do that is our choice. To believe is not simply an acknowledgement of the fact that Jesus is our Savior. The Bible states even the demons believe and tremble, James 2:19. To believe means literally to live in accordance with something. Its root meaning means to have an ACTION. To believe something my actions must prove I believe it. If I believe I am a Christian I will have “actions” that follow Christian beliefs found in God’s word. To say I am a Christian but then get drunk, sleep around with people etc. is to deny what I’ve said I believe.
I’m resting and trusting that all of the promises in Psalm 23 are for me and that I can experience them. Many times I’ve had to fight for my promises through lots of opposition and pain. They belonged to me so I fought. Sometimes I lost a battle but other times I won! I am positive that I will dwell with Him always. I made that choice at the age of 15. If you have never made that choice for yourself, I pray you will. If you need help with that, please contact me through my Blog and I will be happy to help!
I hope walking through this Psalm with me was enjoyable and that you gained some greater understanding of our Shepherd!