6a Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
This saying of David teems with perfect confidence. What blessed assurance he enjoyed as a child of God! David understood that the LORD, being his Shepherd, would guide him all through his life by providing His divine “goodness and mercy” to attend to his ways. Having experienced the LORD’s “goodness and mercy” up till now, David boldly stated that they should also be his experience for the rest of his life.
Every true believer can possess the same conviction as 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 exhorted 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 repeatedly that “His mercy endureth for ever”. Streams of God’s mercy flow ceaselessly from God’s throne towards 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 that “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”? David himself was subject to innumerable afflictions. Yet, through it all, he was sustained by the LORD’s “goodness and mercy”.
Believers’ afflictions are not indicative of the lack of God’s “goodness and mercy”. God may have allowed those dark experiences to serve as a means of chastisement or purification process in believers’ lives. At the same time, He will sustain them with His “goodness and mercy”, and help them to emerge from their trials with greater confidence in God.