Memory Verse from Psalm Twenty Three
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ESV
This is a bold verse. Where does the psalmist get the confidence for such a claim? Let’s look at the previous verses—the whole of the Twenty-third Psalm. It’s well-known, written by David. As a child, I heard it recited in church services. I didn’t understand it but could see others gained comfort and felt a certain reverence for it. I was at a funeral when I last heard the words read aloud. It was a great comfort to the mourners, reminding us of God’s faithfulness and presence. We need reminding in times of grief and hard times, when fear is foremost in our minds.
- Goodness – the best part of anything, moral excellence, virtue
The only goodness found in this world is from God.
- Mercy – an act of kindness or compassion –divine favor, blessing
Others can sometimes show compassion, but true mercy, divine favor, and blessing, come from God.
- (23:1) - David used the image of the Lord as Shepherd. He began the psalm by remembering God’s provision. As the shepherd leads his sheep to food, the Lord leads his people into spiritual nourishment.
- (23:2-3a) - As the shepherd finds a safe pasture where his sheep can sleep, the Lord provides his children with forgiveness and restoration.
- (23:3b) - The Lord guides us away from evil and toward a right path.
- (23:4) - Even in the darkest moments, threatened with death, David would not be afraid because he knew God was with him.
- (23:5) - When David was in imminent danger –in the presence of enemies – the Lord provided abundantly and soothed David’s tired brow.
(Psalm 23:6) - In response, and remembering the Lord’s faithfulness, David concluded the Lord’s goodness and mercy would always be with him. God’s blessings remain through any and all circumstance.
In Old Testament Israel, the house of the Lord, the tabernacle, was where the High Priest stood in the presence of God. David expressed his confidence that he would remain in God’s presence, enjoying full communion with the Lord, basking in his love and mercy, forever.
I will recite Psalm 23:6 with confidence. Jesus opened the way to communion with the Father. God has promised his eternal goodness and mercy to those who love him.
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