“Surely your goodness and loving-kindness will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.” Psalm 23:6
David ends the beloved Psalm with today’s insight. By looking back into his life, he penned these words from his experience. He says ‘surely’. That means he is convinced and there is no doubt in his mind. “Surely your goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
David experienced two vital things from the good shepherd, the LORD. They are the goodness and loving kindness. Goodness does not mean the absence of problems and issues. As we all know, David had a significant portion of sufferings in his earthly life. However, the LORD’s goodness was always present with him in the middle of his painful circumstances. In short, he never left or deserted David. In the fearful years of his life, in his loneliness, in his hunger and even when he lost all including his kingdom, God’s goodness was with him. Not only God’s goodness was right there in the middle of his crisis and sufferings, but also David would testify to you that it was the LORD who delivered him from all his troubles and fears. He says in Psalms 34:4 (b) “He (The LORD) delivered me from all my fears.”
You see, the goodness of the LORD does not exclude troubles. Bible says in Psalm 34:19 that a Godly person, on the contrary, may have many troubles. His goodness means the LORD is right there with you, as he was with Joseph in all his sufferings. His obvious/manifest presence is with you even in the hottest flames of fire like He was with Daniel and his friends. The LORD will not leave you nor forsake you. It also means the LORD delivers you from all troubles, as he delivered Joseph, Daniel, and his friends. Such is the quality of the goodness of the Lord.
There is a big difference between those who have LORD as their shepherd and those who do not have Him as their shepherd. Tragedies and troubles hit ungodly people. They are bend down to ruin and destruction. They are destroyed in a moment. Sudden terrors swept them away forever — no coming back. Roots and leaves are dead. But not you if you have LORD as your shepherd. The LORD delivers from all your troubles and fears. You spring forth leaves and new growth again from the root.
Secondly, LORD’s loving kindness follows you. Those of us who are fathers know we always remember our children with a love that is mingled with kindness. David wrote these words about God the Father in heaven in Psalm 103. Listen, “ As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” He has compassion for his children because he knows our true frame. He remembers we are made out of dust. Therefore he has goodness and loving kindness on his children.
Beloved, if the LORD is your shepherd, aren’t you glad you have two escorts behind you always? And they are his goodness and loving kindness. Because we are fragile and needy, we need His goodness. Because we are prone to sin and live among sinful people and the world, we need His loving kindness. We need these two every single day. Did you notice these two escorts –goodness and loving-kindness of the Lord- follows you not just some days of your life or most of the days, but it follows, pursues or chase you all the days of your life?
David also says, “And I dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Of course, David expressed his desire to live in the house of the LORD (temple) all the days of his life in Psalms 27:4. “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD, all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
He desired to worship his good shepherd along with other believers all the days of his life because of the comfort, care and rest He provides. Moreover, because of the guidance and protection, he gives in the deep dark times of life. Additionally, because of the two permanent followers of his life-goodness and loving-kindness of the LORD.
Beloved, understanding the greatness of the good shepherd, don’t you also want to worship him all the days of your life? I do! There is another embedded meaning in this verse. His desire to be in the house of the LORD (heaven) forever. His desire to spend eternity with the good shepherd in heaven, when his life draws to an end here. He was looking forward to that beautiful day all through his life here on the earth.
Beloved, may I ask you this question? Do you have this good shepherd in your life? The good shepherd who gave his life as a ransom for all of your sins and shortcomings- the LORD Jesus Christ-is knocking at the door of your heart. Would you pray and accept Him as your savior and Lord today? If you have gone astray from this good shepherd, do not stay far from him anymore. Turn around and come back now. Please admit your desire to come back to him in prayer. He will restore you upon your prayer.
“Father in heaven, Thank you for the good shepherd, Jesus Christ, who gave his life to deliver me from the power of devil and his kingdom. Thank you LORD, you promised two escorts all the days of my life-your goodness and loving kindess. I repent of my sin and call upon the name of the good shepherd, Jesus now. Please save me. Please restore me to your love and kindness. I want to serve and worship you all the days of my life and I want to come to your house, heaven, and live with you forever. Please bless me with your enduring love. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.”