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Summary: THIS IS A MESSAGE EMPHASIZING THE CERTAINLY AND PERMANENCY OF GOODNESS AND MERCY FOR THE BELIEVER. IT IS THE LAST PART OF A SERIES ON THE 23RD PSALM.

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GOODNESS AND MERCY FOREVER

PSALM 23:6

INTRODUCTION:

A LITTLE BOY WAS ASKED ONE DAY IF HE KNEW WHERE THE LORD LIVED? HE SAID, YES! THE LORD LIVES IN OUR BATHROOM!” THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER ASKED HIM, “WHATEVER MAKES YOU THINK THAT?” THE CHILD RESPONDED, “WELL EVERY SUNDAY MORNING I HEAR DADDY BANGING ON THE BATHROOM DOOR AND HOLLERING, ‘GOOD LORD! ARE YOU STILL IN THERE!’

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME UNUSUAL PREACHERS IN THE BIBLE. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT FOR EXAMPLE, A SERMON WAS PREACHED ONE TIME BY A DONKEY TO A MAN NAMED BALAAM. KNOWING SOME OF THE LIBERAL TEACHING THAT’S INFECTING OUR CONVENTION NOW, I THINK I’D RATHER HEAR THE DONKEY THAN SOME OF THESE GUYS.

IN THE NEW TESTAMENT A ROOSTER PREACHED A SERMON TO SIMON PETER. WHEN PETER SAID HE WOULD NOT DENY HIM, THE CROWING ROOSTER PREACHED A SERMON OF PETER’S DENIAL.

HERE IN PSALM 23 WE HAVE A SERMON THAT IS PREACHED BY A SHEEP. KING DAVID PLACED HIMSELF IN THE ROLE OF A SHEEP, TO ALLOW US TO LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY THOUGH THE EYES OF A SHEEP AS THEY LOOK ON THE SHEPHERD.

HE KNEW GOD TO BE A RESTORER OF HIS SOUL IN TIMES OF BROKENNESS, AND ONE THAT LED HIM IN RIGHTEOUS PATHWAYS, FOR HIS NAMES SAKE. HE KNEW HIM TO BE A PROTECTOR, THAT EVEN WHEN HE WENT INTO THE LOW VALLEY OF DEATH HE KNEW HE HAD NOTHING TO FEAR BECAUSE THE LORD WAS CERTAINLY WITH HIM, WITH A ROD AND A STAFF. GOD WAS EVEN PREPARING TABLES TO FEAST OFF OF RIGHT IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS ENEMIES, AS IF THERE WAS ALREADY A CERTAINTY TO VICTORY. HE KNEW GOD TO BE ONE THAT ANOINTED HIM, CAUSING HIS CUP OF JOY TO OVERFLOW.

GOD HAD PROVEN TO HIM OVER AND OVER THAT HE WILL BE ANYTHING YOU NEED, ANY MOMENT, ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON! HE IS OUR GOD, HE IS OUR SHEPHERD, AND AS LONG AS YOU ARE FOLLOWING HIM, YOU WILL NEVER WANT FOR ANYTHING!

THIS LAST VERSE HAS THREE IMPORTANT AREAS TO REMEMBER, AND WE CAN SEE THESE AREAS IN THREE WORDS: GOODNESS, MERCY, AND FOREVER. THEY ARE PREFACED BY A FOURTH IMPORTANT WORD IN THE VERSE, SURELY. TONIGHT WE WILL LOOK AT THESE FOUR WORDS AND HOW THEY APPLY TO US.

THE VERSE BEGINS WITH THE WORD “SURELY”. THERE IS A LOT IN THIS WORD. THIS WORD IS A WORD OF AFFIRMATION. IT IS A VERBAL EXCLAMATION POINT. HE IS SPEAKING WITH A VOICE OF AUTHORITY HERE.

WE OFTEN USE THIS WORD MUCH THE SAME WAY AS WE COMMUNICATE. HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD THE EXPRESSION “SURELY, YOU DON’T MEAN THAT!”, OR “THAT SURE WAS AN EMOTIONAL GAME.” IT’S A WORD THAT SPEAKS WITH CERTAINLY, NOT JUST A POSSIBILITY.

HUMANITY FEARS THE FUTURE, BECAUSE WE HAVE NO SECURITY IN IT. EVENTS WILL CHANGE, PEOPLE CHANGE, THE WORLD CHANGES, AND WE WILL ALWAYS SEE CHANGE. HUMANITY DOES NOT KNOW THE GOD OF THE BIBLE.

TWO BUSINESSMEN WERE TRAVELLING TOGETHER ON AN AIRPLANE. ONE WAS TAKING A NAP AND THE OTHER WAS BUSY WORKING ON A CROSSWORD PUZZLE. HE NUDGED HIS NAPPING FRIEND AND ASKED, “WHAT IS A WORD WITH THREE LETTERS, WITH THE LETTER “O” IN THE MIDDLE, MEANING MAN’S BEST FRIEND? HIS FRIEND MUMBLED “DOG”. AFTER WORKING THE PUZZLE A BIT MORE HE DISCOVERED “DOG” DIDN’T FIT, BECAUSE THE LAST LETTER IN THE WORD WAS A “D”. NOW CAN YOU GUESS THE WORD. EVEN WITH THE TWO LETTERS “OD” IN A THREE LETTER WORD DESCRIBING MAN’S BEST FRIEND, THEY NEVER DID THINK OF THE FIRST LETTER AS BEING “G” AND THE WORD BEING GOD.

BUT WE AS CHRISTIANS FACE THE WORLD WITH ASSURANCE. YES CIRCUMSTANCES WILL CHANGE, BUT WE FACE THE FUTURE WITH A CLAM AND CERTAIN ASSURANCE THAT GOD WILL NOT CHANGE. BECAUSE GOD DOES NOT CHANGE, NEITHER DO HIS PROMISES, AND DAVID IS ABLE TO MAKE THE GREAT CLAIMS OF THE SIXTH VERSE” GOODNESS AND LOVE WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, AND I WILL (NOT MIGHT) DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER.

INDEED GOD IS OUR ONLY SECURITY.

PSALM 91:11-12:

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

WITH A SENSE OF SECURITY AND CERTAINESS THAT THE WORD “SURELY” BRINGS LET US LOOK AT THE THREE THINGS THAT THIS VERSE SAYS IS THE INHERITANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN.

POINT ONE: GOODNESS

SOMEONE HAS ONCE REFERRED TO GOODNESS AND MERCY IN THIS VERSE AS BEING THE SHEPHERD’S SHEEPDOGS. THIS IS A GOOD ANALOGY. SHEEPDOGS DON’T CHASE THE SHEEP TO ATTACK THE SHEEP. SHEEPDOGS HELP KEEP THE SHEEP IN THE FOLD, GUIDE US TO THE NEXT PASTURE, AND SCARE OF PREDATORS.

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