We saw last time that “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” paired with “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” We can see that these pair, because IF goodness and mercy followed someone all the days of their life, they would not want, i.e., they would be content in whatever circumstances they found themselves.
“That is fine for them,” we say, “but I want for all kinds of things. My life is far from perfect.” Let’s just make a little shift in perspective. Let’s suppose the truth of the psalm, that SINCE the LORD is my shepherd, and He is perfect in His love, care, guidance, plan, and leading of me, having perfect wisdom and the benefit of foresight, THEN goodness and mercy SHALL, must, of necessity, follow me, all the days of my life.
In other words, today is a good day!
Bad circumstances happened to David. He had to deliver lambs from the mouths of bears and lions. He was forced to live as an outlaw for eight years while he was unjustly hunted. Remember when his wives, children, and goods, and the wives, children, and goods of his men were taken captive by a raiding party? That was a scary day, when they came home and discovered the raiders had a head start on them.
‘Surely goodness and mercy will follow me’ does not mean nothing bad will ever happen. David had to work to prevail against bears and lions. He had to run swiftly with all his skill and his weapons, to overtake and overcome the raiders to restore his family to himself again. He had to seek out the Lord’s will and follow it, and sometimes that wasn’t easy. But at the end of the day, he prevailed against the bears and lions, he prevailed against the raiders, he even prevailed against Saul (by refusing to fight or dishonor him); and when he looked back on the good and the bad of his life, he could say, “Because the Lord was my shepherd, I did not want; surely goodness and mercy followed me all the days of my life.”
With David, I am learning to say by faith at the beginning of the day, Since the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want today, for today, goodness and mercy will surely follow me. When I am confronted with something today, I can trust that my Shepherd knows about it and has a plan so that I can prevail by the end of the day. All I need do, is look to Him, and then overcome it by His wisdom, strength, and help.