6a Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
This saying of David is teeming with perfect confidence. What blessed assurance he enjoyed as a child of God! David understood that the LORD, being his Shepherd, would guide him through varying circumstances of life by providing the divine goodness and mercy to attend to his ways. Having experienced the LORD’s goodness and mercy up until now, David boldly states that they shall also be his experience for the rest of his life.
Every true believer can possess the same conviction as such expressed by David here. The LORD’s special providence accompanies every child of God all the days of his life. It is no delusion to claim that the good providence of the LORD is every believer’s inheritance.
The LORD is good and merciful in all His dealings with His people. Even when He deals with their waywardness, it is His goodness that chastises them to bring them back to His righteous paths. In Psalm 145:9, David said, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works“. In Psalm 65:11, he wrote, “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” So he exhorts all God’s people, saying, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalm 34:8).
Concerning the mercy of the LORD, David has said over and over that “His mercy endureth for ever.” Streams of God’s mercy flow ceaselessly from God’s throne toward His people. In Psalm 86:5, David testified, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” David also said in Psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Do not the calamities and misfortunes that happen to believers disprove David’s claim, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life“? David himself was a man of many innumerable afflictions. But in all such afflictions, he was sustained by the LORD’s goodness and mercy.
Believers’ afflictions are not evidences of lack of God’s goodness and mercy. God might allow those dark experiences as a means of chastisement or purification process in believers’ lives. At the same time, He would sustain them with His goodness and mercy, and help them to emerge with greater confidence in God.