Psalm 23:6 says ‘Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.’
This beautiful psalm begins with the acknowledgement that God is our Shepherd, and quickly we picture God as the One who goes before us leading us by still waters. This imagery is meant to set our hearts and minds at ease with the knowledge that God always goes before us. Towards the end of the psalm we see God’s goodness and mercy following us all the days of our lives. God goes before us with every aspect of His leadership and at the same time He also follows us with His goodness and mercy.
The prophet Isaiah also spoke of God as going before His people while at the same time being their rear guard. Isaiah 52:12 states, “But you will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Our most glorious heavenly Father is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We should take great comfort in knowing that while our sight and knowledge are limited our God is everywhere seeing all things, knowing all things and reigns with authority and power over all things.
David’s life was filled with many trials and temptations. He sought God’s wisdom and help to overcome on many occasions, but he also gave in to his flesh at times and like everyone he experienced the troubles and difficulties that life can bring. David’s psalm does not only reflect the realities of his walk with God, but it is also His faith statement.
David had experienced personal failure. After being confronted by God through His prophet, David repented of his sins and found God to be full of forgiveness and loving-kindness. This may be one of the reasons why David was so sure that the goodness and mercy of God followed Him. It is always after we mess things up so thoroughly that realize our need for God’s goodness and mercy. David had experienced the goodness of God through the forgiveness of His sins.
God not only forgave David, but God assured David that his linage would continue and his kingdom would have no end. This is where the mercy of God is revealed. Most people tend to be their own worst enemy. We often think we have messed up so bad that God would never want to use us as His vessel of honor, but God majors on taking things that are broken and making a masterpiece.
The Old Testament word for “mercy” is a covenant word which means loving-kindness. David had experienced that which was spoken of in Romans 8:35 which states, “Who can separate us from the love of God.” He had experienced the loving-kindness of a God who does not let go of His children, and through further revelations of God David became convinced He would be with God forevermore.
Thank you God for Your loving-kindness that follows after us, pursues us relentlessly, forgives us, transforms us into vessels of honor, and is never willing to let us go.