As we come to the last verse of this great Psalm it is good to remember how the previous verses have been so comforting and encouraging to us. This no surprise because that is the nature of our God. Psalm 23:6 says: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.  The first thing that stands out in this verse is the word the psalmist uses to commence the verse – the word ‘surely’. Here the psalmist makes a statement of fact, not suggesting that something could happen. This is an opportunity to understand and declare that everything about God is certain, and there is no place for doubting and being uncertain in our understanding of who God is. We must be very clear that doubt comes from Satan and always be ready to recognise the source of doubt and uncertainty in our understanding and not allow it to be part of how we live. What was the psalmist certain about? – He was certain that he would experience the Lord’s goodness and mercy all the days of his life. Before we look at the significance of these Godly attributes it is important to look at how we experience them. This verse states that these attributes follow us, they are not in front of us, this is where our faith in God is displayed, if we can see and know what is ahead we do not have to trust the Lord. We understand that the Lord has promised that He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13: 5b). The psalmist was certain that goodness would be with him all the time because goodness is the nature of God. This is something that we can forget because of all the evil that is around us. God is a good God so it is important to continually remind ourselves of this fact because at times we can take it for granted. The next attribute that continually follows us is His mercy, a better translation would be compassion. We understand from the Bible that Jesus was moved with compassion and He has not changed, and we are in His sight and is following us all the time. I am encouraged by the phrase “All the days of my life”, this is what Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 And lo, I am with you always”. We have nothing to be afraid of because He is always with us. The final statement is so profound – “Forever I will dwell in the house of the Lord”, the house of the Lord speaks of the place of His presence. Today this verse is reminding us that His presence never leaves us, and this is something that we all need to work on – how to be continually aware of His presence. This is why it is so important to set aside time regularly to switch off the events of the day and allow His presence to become real to us. It has been so refreshing to look at this psalm and to be reminded that “The Lord is my shepherd” and because of this I can live a blessed life.

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