“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
Have you ever been followed – maybe while you’re driving your car or walking on the street? Your heart starts beating faster and you become hyper alert, trying to figure out if you’re imagining it or if someone really is following you – and why.
In Psalm 23:6, it says we are always being followed, but not by anything fear-producing, unless you consider goodness and mercy terrifying. That dual combination of God’s goodness and mercy is always after us, pursuing us. If we try to escape, guess what happens? They continue to pursue us!
Think of the shepherd in Luke 15. He had 100 sheep, but one got lost. Just one. Shouldn’t he have been content with the 99 he had? No, he left them all to go find that lost sheep. He pursued it. Followed it. And then he found it and brought it home with much rejoicing and celebration. So, God is with us. He pursues us, hunting us down to pour out on us his goodness and mercy. Just like the sheep, we don’t deserve it, but still our Good Shepherd pursues us.
GOODNESS. Maybe money is tight, your health is struggling, your schedule is frustrating, and underneath, you can’t help but wonder if God really is going to work all things together for good as he promises in Romans 8:28. But you can trust him at his word. Why? Because God IS good, he grants us his goodness. Freely. Lovingly. Abundantly. In his perfect timing.
MERCY. Some translations for “mercy” in Psalm 23:6 use “faithfulness,” “love,” “lovingkindness,” or even “unfailing love” to encompass the idea of undeserved mercy, a love we did nothing to earn. Even when we try to run from God, his mercy pursues us.
In John 10:27-29 (NIV), Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” Surely, that is goodness and mercy. May it follow us all the days of our lives so we can dwell with God in the house of the Lord forever.
By Cyndie Claypool de Neve
Senior Creative Director