Study Guide

Psalm 23 ("The Lord is My Shepherd") Line 6

By David

Line 6

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.

  • There is just no doubt in the speaker's mind that with God on his side; he's totally set for life. The amount of trust and confidence expressed in these words is remarkable.
  • There's no sense that God could withdraw his mercy at any moment and send the speaker plunging into misery – no sir. This isn't the Book of Job, where this happens.
  • God will continue to lead him on the path to "goodness." Not only that, God will also show mercy if, for some reason owing to his clumsy sheep-like nature, he wanders off the right path.
  • He plans to live in God's house forever. Why would he ever leave? It's like crashing on the couch in the Vanderbilt Mansion. And God doesn't seem to care how often the speaker raids the fridge.
  • There are two sides to the idea that he plans to dwell in the Lord's house. First, that the speaker has no wish or desire to be anywhere else. Second, that God will never kick him out.
  • "For ever" may point beyond the speaker's life and into eternity or some kind of afterlife.
  • Notice how in the first part of the poem the Lord is a shepherd, and in the last two lines God is more like a great host.

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