Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me


What is it that gives you the spiritual confidence that “Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life”?    Or are you really sure that every day of your life will be blessed?  The deodorant commercials boasts of the confidence users can be sure of if they use their product.  God offers so much more than 12 or 24-hour protection.  Deodorant can wear off.  Lipstick can grow flat.  Hair pomade will fade into the scalp, but the Word of God will stand.  In the 23rd Psalm, David proclaims his assurance that because God is his shepherd he will not want.  God has led him to the water, taken him to the green grass for nourishment, offered him a rod and staff to protect him, walked with him through the valley of the shadow of death.  Because of all of this, he fears no evil.

Psalm 23: Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

1     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 right paths

for his name’s sake.

4     Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I 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 goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.[1]


Beyond not fearing any evil, David proclaims that he is sure that goodness and mercy will follow him all the days of his life.  What is “Goodness”?  To me when David says that goodness will follow him, it means like the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love God.”  This does not mean that you will not have a bad day.  This does not mean that someone will not try to rob you of your joy.  What it does mean is that somehow, some way, things will work out.  It means that even in your worst moment, God will show you the way to turn it into something meaningful, fruitful and productive.

I live each day with the expectancy that God will show me how to turn the corner from defeat to victory, sadness to joy, and boredom to stimulation and excitement about life.  To me that is what the “Goodness of God is in Psalms 23.  The next part of this verse, “And mercy shall follow me” references the forgiveness of God that we receive through the redemptive grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.  Once we are convinced that Jesus is real, his salvation is real and his forgiveness is real, we should be able to walk through life with a new sense of freedom and joy that somehow, some way, everything will work out.  It may not turn out the way you hoped for or the way you planned, but with God on your side, things will work out.


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 my whole life long.[2]


Questions for Reflection:

  1. What about this Psalm lets the reader know why David is so confident that “Surely, goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”?
  2. Does “Goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life” mean that David does not expect ever to have a bad day?
  3. What is it that gives you confidence in the blessings God has in store for you?



Lord, I live each day in the confidence that your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.  It is not that I am so perfect or even so good, but you have been with me through the sweet and sour moments of life.  You were there when I was lost.  You stood by me when I was found.  When it seemed like I could not count on a witness, you stood up for me, testified on my behalf and showed me a way out.  When I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, your rod and staff gave me protection and guidance.  You have led me to the still waters.  You have anointed my head with oil.  Even though I do not know what lies ahead, I know that you have blessed me, protected me, led me and guided me.  So, I live in the confidence that a better day is coming.  Regardless of the future I live in the hope and assurance that you have good things in store for me- not just in the life to come, but right here, right now on earth.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 23:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.