When I think of someone in the Bible who truly understood the goodness of God, David always comes to mind. God calls him a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). As a young shepherd tending his flock on the hills of Israel, David fellowshiped with God and came to know His nature. He knew He was a loving God. He knew that He was good, kind and patient. David knew that God would take care of him, provide for him and deliver him from danger.
From that revelation, David wrote Psalm 23. My, what insight it gives us into God’s goodness! You may have quoted it religiously for years. You may have even thought it referred to the care God gives us in heaven. But this psalm reveals what God wants to do for us here on earth—in the “valley of the shadow of death,” where we must deal with our enemy, the devil.
With those things in mind, read Psalm 23 and let it speak to your heart in a fresh way about the kindness and loving care God wants to give you:
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place (The Amplified Bible).
The more deeply you understand the truth of those words, the more you will be able to trust God in every circumstance of life. Your confidence in Him will make you bold when others are timid.
That is what happened to David. The revelation of Psalm 23 filled him with confidence in God. It made him bold and daring in dangerous situations. When a lion came after the sheep of his flock, David didn’t run away. He single-handedly caught that lion by the mane and killed it. When the bear came, David killed it too.
Later in his life, when everybody in Israel was afraid of the giant Goliath, David was the only one courageous enough to fight him. What was behind this great courage? David revealed that in 1 Samuel 17:37 when he said, “The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
David not only knew about the goodness of God, he had seen it work in his life. He had seen the victories God’s goodness had gained for him, and just thinking of them made him bold.
You and I can be the same way. The more we understand the goodness of God and the more we see that goodness operating in our lives, the more victories we will have to remember. The more victories we remember, the harder it is for the devil to talk us into letting him run over us.
We’ll remember the victory over the lion and the bear in our own lives and think, You know, God got me this far. He will not let me down now!