THE LORD MY SHEPHERD
PSALM 23 NKJ
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
It's so hard to pick one verse from this very famous Psalm. So, let's take a quick look at the Psalm as a whole.
Outside of the poetic beauty of this Psalm, it is a great revelation of who Jesus was to David. And who Jesus is to us. When I look at this Psalm, I do not see a Jesus who has set Himself against me. I see a wonderful Shepherd who is able to do amazing things providing I follow Him.
I see the Lord's provision. I shall not want or lack. That says a lot. Green pastures and still waters are exactly what sheep need. The Lord our Shepherd provides.
I see the Lord's care and leadership as He restores my soul and leads me in right paths. I see His care as I pass through the dark valleys of life. Because He never abandons me I am not afraid. Rather I am comforted by His words and His Holy Spirit.
Once again, I see the Lord, who is my Shepherd, providing for me. He prepares a table for me, even with enemies around. He is never the enemy, so I am not confused.
He is the One preparing good things for me. He anoints my head, and my cup runs over. Not barely enough, but an actual overflow. Evidently, He is not worried about having enough.
I see my past covered by His goodness and mercy as they are following me. And I see my future looking bright because I will live in His house with Him forever. I see a good, good Shepherd who is not wrecking my life but rather enriching my life in many ways.
I am surprised by the people who blame the Lord for doing bad things to them and their loved ones. That is not the picture we see in this Psalm, this revelation of who the Lord is to us.
One of the reasons David thrived was that he believed God was really good. And really good to Him. Having this kind of Shepherd can be a real confidence booster.
So for our application, read/quote this Psalm out loud three times a day during the next month and a half as we wrap up this year. Doing this will help to form an image on the inside of you of how good your Lord, Your Shepherd, is.
Lord, You are my Shepherd, and I am glad.