13 September 2019


By John Ollis

I am sure that every believer around the world loves Psalm 23, and many of us in Sunday School would have memorised all the 6 verses, and it is still in our mind (and heart) today. I will type out the 6 NKJV verses here for you to see:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

I want to particularly highlight today verse 6. I read a statement by a Hebrew scholar that really blessed me, I checked with a Biblical scholar friend who confirmed what the first scholar had said, and HE then also sent me a lengthy statement by another scholar again confirming this truth and I share the article with you written by Chad Bird.

“In the Hebrew of Psalm 23, goodness and mercy do not follow us all the days of our lives. This translation is far too bloodless for the verb radaph. It means “chase after or pursue”. The goodness and mercy of God don’t follow us like a good little puppy dog. They gallop after us like a celestial stallion. They chase us down labyrinthine paths like the hound of heaven. They stay hot on our heels. The goodness and mercy of oue Shepherd “radaph” us all the way to the gates of heaven and into the arms of our Father”.

What do you think of that? It moves me to tears as I begin to contemplate God’s awesome goodness to me. Even though you and I deserved the lowest hell God’s mercy pursues us, thank you Jesus, I will praise and worship You throughout all eternity.

I want to highlight two verses today, one from the New Testament where Paul uses GOODNESS at least 10 times, and one verse from the Old Testament where the Psalmist alone uses the word GOODNESS at least 15 times.

Romans 2:4 NKJV tells us Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

The MESSAGE Bible says Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Because we were born with a sinful nature, we are both sinners by nature and personal practice, and are incapable of repenting of our sin and becoming born again, that is why Paul says in Eph. 2:8-9 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

God’s goodness so chases after us, and leads us to that place of repentance, are you shouting hallelujah?????? You should be.

In Psalm 65:4 NKJV we read We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple. As we pass this verse through the cross and apply New Covenant truth to it, because of God’s awesome GOODNESS to us, we have been adopted into His family and planted in His House (the Church) and we also experience God’s goodness flowing out from His people to us. So continually we are recipients of God’s goodness and mercy.

This truth has really gripped my heart, I trust it will touch your heart too, and let us together bow in wonder of our God’s GOODNESS & MERCY amen