“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” (Psalm 23:6)

Psalm 23:6 is a well-loved verse of many Christians. It is also frequently cited during Christian vigil services to comfort the sorrowing, especially the bereaved family, for it reminds us  of the eternal blessedness we have received in our Wonderful Shepherd. How assuring it is to know that “goodness and mercy” (tov vachesed) () (shall pursue (radaph) () us not just for our days upon the earth but till eternity.

The term “mercy” is translated from the Hebrew word chesed which is a covenant word that describes the Lord’s faithful love in keeping His covenant. The term “goodness” (tov) forms a hendiadys with chesed. It expresses David’s praise of the depth of goodness he has received from the Lord through the lovingkindness that God has showered upon him. Indeed, because God is good, the believer has received the benefits of God’s covenant of grace upon him in his life and thus he has much to be thankful to the Lord.

However, what does it mean when we say that God is good (Psalm 34:8; 100:5)? It means that goodness is part of His nature and God Himself is the standard and the measure of what is good (Luke 18:19). All that is in God is good, all things that He does is good (Psalm 119:68). He is good because of His love. He is good because of His grace. He is good because of His mercy. He is good because of His holiness. He is good because of His justice. He is good because He is True.

How wonderful it is to read in Psalm 23:6 that the goodness of the Lord will pursue after me all the days of my life! It is not me who have pursued after God’s goodness but it is God’s goodness who pursued after me and have found me. It is the goodness of the Lord which sought us when we were still dead in our sin and brought us into the saving knowledge of Christ. It is the goodness of the Lord that continued to grant us grace as we serve the Lord in this sin-sick world. It is the goodness of the Lord that we will one day run our race and be taken home to be with the Lord. And while we are in the new heaven and the new earth, we will be continually bathed in the goodness of the Lord. Surely we cannot help but praise the Lord with the psalmist as we meditate upon this truth.

Are you discouraged dear friend because of the cares of this life? Or are you sorrowing because of the loss of a loved one that has departed from the Lord? May this thought on the Lord’s steadfast goodness comfort and strengthen your heart.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew


Hendiadys is a figure of speech where two words connected by the conjunction “and” express a single idea, which is usually conveyed by an adjective and a noun. Some examples of hendiadys include expressions like “safe and sound”, “bright and early” and “slow and steady”.