and mercy shall follow me
Psalm 23:6 is a Bible verse that puts a happy ending on the story of life. Before we get into the meat of verse 6, let’s read all of the famous Psalm 23.
The Lord is
my shepherd; I
shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare
a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord
This is a short Psalm, but it is packed with the story of our lives. We are introduced to the Lord and discover that He is a shepherd to us. He leads us, heals us, and walks with us even through death. We experience His comfort and His victory.
And then, the last “chapter” of the story--Psalm 23:6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Isn’t it interesting that the story doesn’t end with death, but with life? And not only life, but life in the house of the Lord—forever!
Though we have been born again spiritually by believing and accepting Jesus Christ, we were born into a sin-cursed world. In our lives on earth, we have experienced plenty of darkness and death, in one form or another.
Though we have the promise of God’s hand of protection over us, we hear the winds of destruction, sin and darkness. We see the effects of it as it takes a toll on those who do not walk with the Lord.
As Christians, we are like Moses and the Israelites who painted their doorposts with the Lamb’s blood, and the winds of death have not overtaken us. But we cannot help but hear the cries of death and sorrow outside our doors.
There is an important reference on the word “Surely” in Psalm 23:6, which is “Only”. So we can read it like this: Only goodness and mercy shall follow me…
as children of God, nothing
else is allowed to follow us. Not sin; not
sorrow; not hopelessness, emptiness or despair; not seducing spirits or
other demonic influence. Nothing
goodness and mercy.
You see, Jesus Christ is that mercy. His sacrifice fills in the gap between the darkness of the world, and us. The whispers of death and destruction have no more authority over us.
Jesus Christ is the authority over us now. He not only dwells within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, but He follows us.
There is also an important reference to the word “mercy” in Psalm 23:6, which is “steadfast love”. We know God is love, but many times we overlook the importance of the word “steadfast,” which means: firmly fixed in place; immovable; constant in feeling, principle, purpose or attachment.
If God is love and his steadfast love follows us, then why don’t we feel it constantly as the definition of “steadfast” says?
Our belief must be firmly rooted in the truth, in God’s promise. We must be aware of the truth and its promise before we can declare it. We have to recognize what’s ours in Christ and take it!
We don’t have to accept the dark moods when we feel them swirling in around us. We don’t have to sink into the pit of despair and hopelessness. We know now that Only goodness and mercy (steadfast love) are allowed to follow us. Only Christ and His steadfast love have authority over us.
Soldier of Christ, stand fast and declare it!
When you hear those familiar voices of fear and darkness whispering in your ears, reject them with the truth of God’s Word. We don’t have to receive fear and doubt.
Stand up and stand firm in Christ!
Next, Psalm 23:6 says, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The reference on the word “dwell” is this: shall return to dwell.
The word “return” is important because as brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been reconciled back to God the Father, to the house of the Lord—the place of paradise where Adam and Eve lived with God before sin.
This is the place of Heaven on earth—in our spirits and souls—the place where there is no death, no sin and no evil. It is Utopia, the Garden of Eden.
Because of Jesus Christ, we have a way back to that place. He made the way. “We shall return to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” We can live in Heaven on earth. There is no happier ending than this.
It is available to us.
Recognize the sounds of the winds of darkness when they’re lurking behind you. Stand fast and claim the promise of God, “Only steadfast love shall follow me in Jesus Christ!” Study the Bible verse of Psalm 23:6 and return to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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