December 15 2022
Today, Thursday December 15
God’s Goodness and Heaven
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
I thought we were going to finish up Psalm 23 yesterday but feel impressed today to take “one last look at the 23rd Psalm”. We divided this Psalm up into three sections: The secret of a happy life, the secret of a happy death, and the secret of a happy future. We believe David wrote this Psalm probably later in life and he is remembering how his Great Shepherd took care of him in both the good and the bad times.
Maybe David knows that he doesn’t have much more time in his earthly life and death is just around the corner for him. As he meditates on Who his Shepherd is and how He has always taken care of him, David finds great assurance and comfort and knows he can face eternity with confidence!
First, David looked up and saw the LORD, Jehovah, the Great I AM, as the Shepherd of his life. David could say with complete assurance, “The LORD is my Shepherd” because of his relationship with him. He knew his Shepherd spoke the world and all of creation into existence. David had no doubt read the Books of Moses many times and committed much of it to memory.
David knew that despite his sins and shortcomings that God loved him and had a plan of redemption for his sins. He had read how Jehovah took care of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob despite their shortcomings and sins. He remembered the story of Joseph and saw Jehovah’s providential hand protecting and promoting him to one day providing for his family.
Second, David looked back and saw how his Shepherd had marvelously guided his steps and protected and cared for him. Then David looked around and saw the reality of life and death before him and he knew that the LORD would continue to be with him through whatever he faced. David was convinced that his Jehovah was always good!
If there is one lie the devil loves to tell us when we are facing difficult things in our life it is: “God doesn’t really love you and if God is so good why are these bad things happening to you.” But my friend we always need to remember that God is always good. James 1:17 teaches us that: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
Everything good in this world comes from God. If it did not come from God, it is not good. If it comes from God, it must be good, even if we do not see the goodness in it immediately. God will never change, and He will always be good and do good for us. The clouds might separate us from the light of the sun, but it is still shining on the other side of them. Our God is the Father of lights and He is always, continuously giving His goodness!
As an old man, David looked back over his long life and came to the same conclusion. In spite of his sins and failures, he had been followed by the goodness and mercy of God, which is the Old Testament equivalent of Romans 8:28. "Surely" means "only."
Finally as David looked ahead, he knew one day he would be in heaven, “the house of the LORD”, the Father's house—forever. This isn't a reference to the temple, because the king didn't live in the temple. Furthermore, nobody could live there or anywhere else forever. Jesus used this vocabulary to speak about heaven (John 14:1-6). The things that perplex and disturb us today will all be clear when we get to heaven. We will look back and see "only goodness and mercy."
Under the old covenant, the sheep died for the shepherd, but under the new covenant, the Shepherd died for the sheep—and we shall meet our Shepherd in heaven! "For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Rev. 7:17).