Saturday, November 7, 2020

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23, NLT

I feel the need to make a short confession before I begin writing today: I don't love Psalm 23. I'm a little uncomfortable writing this because, after all, it is God's Word. In that regard, I love the chapter for what it teaches me in the same way I love any other chapter of the Bible. However, I don't have the same deep regard for it that some do. Quite frankly, it's not the chapter I turn to when I need comforting, and I hope it's not read at my funeral.

That being said, for many people it is a special blessing. It might be one of the only passages they have memorized. They may read it and find assurance in God. This is one of the great things about God's Word. It speaks to each of us as needed. Who knows, one day I may feel differently about Psalm 23.

One thing that I do love about this passage is that it reveals David's roots. Before David wrote the psalms, before he was a king, and even before he fought Goliath, David was a shepherd. Clearly his faith was formed out in those pastures. He spent a lot of time in fields taking care of sheep which helped him to see how God took care of him.

This idea of God as shepherd was shared by Jesus. In fact, Jesus called himself the good shepherd. In John 10, He said that:
  • He knows his sheep.
  • His sheep know Him.
  • His sheep know His voice and do what He says.
  • He will give up His life for His sheep.

I know we are already aware that Jesus often spoke in codes, so let's break the code of this passage.  Every time Jesus said “sheep” He really meant people who believe in Him. The implications of John 10 are awesome: 
  • Jesus knows His people.
  • His people know Jesus.
  • His people know his voice and do what He says.
  • Jesus gave up his life for His people. 
That IS a good shepherd. I'm so thankful that God knows me and that I know Him. Baaaa....

A Little Extra For You: Last year I worked through Lysa TerKeurst's Finding I Am as part of a Bible study group.  In it, TerKeurst studies Jesus' seven I AM statements, including the one I've written about today.  You may be encouraged by it, as I was.

No comments:

Post a Comment