The language of the shepherd is used 247 times in God’s Word. As we have traveled through Psalm 23, we take note that the Good Shepherd is faithful and loving. He takes responsibility for His flock (that’s us) as He tenderly cares for them, nurtures them, leads and guides them, rescues them and protects them. From beginning to end of this psalm, David doesn’t pray for one thing. He declares God’s goodness and what David gets to participate in because of that goodness.
As we close out this psalm this week and next, we end with an exclamation of joy! Today we will focus on the first part of this verse, “Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…” and next week we will conclude the psalm 23 meditation on the last part of this verse, “…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.
“Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” Psalm 23:6
This is true! It is a promise! Believe it! You can bank on this! God is like no one else. He is faithful. What He has to offer is better than any other offer. SURELY means certainly, no question, truthfully, unwavering assurance; not maybe or possibly, but a sure foundation. A sure promise! You can have confidence that this truth.
Our minds may change, but God’s never does. Our moods may shift, but God’s never does. Our devotion may change, but God’s doesn’t. Even when we are faithless, He is faithful! We can have confidence in our loving Shepherd.
God’s endless goodness and mercy will follow you. The Passion translation uses the word “pursue”. God’s goodness and love pursue you. The Message translation uses the word “chase”. God’s goodness and love chase after you. You can’t escape God’s goodness and love! He is after you. It is not casual. His pursuit is greater than any enemies who are pursuing you. His goodness and love hunt you down! You cannot escape His love for you. Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast”. What a Shepherd!
How can we describe God’s goodness? God is flawlessly good in all His actions. He is not like mankind. His goodness is His nature: excellent, beneficial, best of the best, the highest quality. The Bible doesn’t use this word carelessly like we do in our culture. God’s goodness is unlike any goodness we have ever known on earth. It is the unlimited, supernatural goodness that only God has the power to give us. Everything God does is good. Rightly, David instructed the priests in the tabernacle to, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever,” I Chronicles 16:34.
The enemy cannot distort any of God’s goodness by any measure, but he can keep us from seeing it. We need to see God’s goodness every day. Look for it! Have eyes to see and hearts to understand. Recount the ways that God has shown you His goodness.
What is meant by God’s love or mercy? God is love. This is His nature. His is a steadfast, loyal love. His love is anchored in His character. He will never give up on you! There is nothing you can do to repel God’s love. He doesn’t love you because He has to but He loves you because He cannot not love you. This is who He is. His love has no strings attached. It is unconditional through every season of your life. You can’t convince God to stop loving you. He made up His mind before the foundations of the earth to love you. His love remains when you are unresponsive and even rebellious to His love. His love for you is not dependent on you. Love is who God is. Even as an enemy of God, His love for you was true. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were sinners, Christ died for us”. God’s love is infinite. Imagine God’s love like golden drops pouring down upon you. This is who He is.
Doesn’t that change the way we read the last part of this psalm? Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life… Get a picture of God’s goodness and love chasing you down to lavish His best upon you.