Goodness and Mercy
One of the most frequently memorized passages in Scripture is Psalm 23, a beautiful portrayal of God as the Good Shepherd and how he cares for all of our needs. In the first three verses, we can almost capture a glimpse of David’s life as a youth, shepherding sheep as he pens the passages about leading the sheep to fresh water and beautiful pasture land to graze. He uses the simplest, most basic life needs to show how intimately God is involved in our lives and gives us good things.
Later in that chapter, King David says that God provides not only goodness, but mercy (Psalms 23:6). David’s life, like ours, was fraught with mistakes. He wanted and took another man’s wife. To cover his sin, David plotted and executed his lover’s murder. David’s life spiraled out of control as his child was born dead. Just when David least deserved it, God showed him mercy. Instead of giving King David what he deserved, God forgave him.
The psalmist said “….surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of his life…” (vs 6). David had been at his best, and he’d been his worst, too. He also knew that he needed not only God’s goodness, but his mercy and loving kindness to be with him throughout the remainder of his days. David painfully knew that he was subject to do wrong. After all, he’d failed miserably. But he also knew what it was to be mercifully forgiven and redeemed.
What a point for rejoicing, that regardless of our sin and the depth to which it takes us, God’s mercy is available today. We can find forgiveness and mercy by taking our sins to Him. We need God’s mercy to follow us, today and every day, for all the days of our lives.