Goodness and Mercy

Tap ‘Listen in browser’ to play.

As we come to the final stanza of this wonderful hymn and psalm, we hear what is perhaps, the most comforting, most assuring, most precious of all the blessings bestowed on those who stay in the flock of Christ as obedient followers of the Shepherd: they will be followed by the goodness of God; they will never lack the mercy of God and they will always have refuge in the most secured place, God’s own dwelling place.

Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Wow! Wow! Wow! Let’s sing that again:

Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.

Who on earth, who in heaven offers anything comparable to that?

The flock of Christ knows that the Lord is Good and that His mercy is everlasting. (Psalm 100:3). Members of the flock have experienced it over and over again. The goodness of God that ensures that a sheep is never made to suffer or weep for no reason. If a sheep in the flock of Christ must suffer hardship or become sorrowful, that sheep can rest assured that a greater good will come out of it, even if human eyes cannot readily see it.

The sheep knows that God’s mercy is everlasting. In mercy, the shepherd rescued the sheep while the sheep was still a sinner, not after the sheep repented. And, in mercy, the Shepherd bears with the human failings and imperfections of the Sheep, forgiving him and overlooking his errors and unfaithfulness when he confesses and repents.

And you know what? In addition to the blessings of God’s goodness ad God’s mercy, the sheep in the flock of Christ can also count on having a permanent place in God’s own dwelling place. What does that mean? That means eternal security. That means eternal access to God. Not only when we get to heaven, but right from here.

You see, this is why, when a sheep in the flock of Christ looks out and sees the sheep in other flocks, he calls out to them, saying:

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)

Dear pilgrims, our great Shepherd works out everything for our Good, our great Shepherd deals with us in mercy, and our great Shepherd has opened paradise for us, He has given us access and permanent residence in God’s dwelling place.

Stay in the flock of Christ. Trust this great Shepherd and journey on in faith. In this world, he will lead you and provide for you. He will restore you when the trials and troubles of the world attempt to overwhelm you. He will be your ever-present guide and your protector supreme.  He will regularly invite you to a table filled with sumptuous meals you cannot get elsewhere. He will always be good to you. He will always deal with you in mercy and, He has already completed the work of reconciliation on the cross: he has given you a permanent dwelling place in God’s house. Stay in the flock of Christ.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *