Tonight I was with a small group of the faithful for a time of prayer at our church, and we did some reflection on Psalm 23. It is such a beautiful psalm of comfort, and now, back at home, I’ve turned off the TV to simply swim in it some more. One of my seminary professors said of God’s Word: “It’s shallow enough for a child to wade in, and deep enough for an elephant to drown in.” I want to be a deep sea diver into His Love Letter to us. Will you join me?
I’m choosing the King James Version, because it’s the one I memorized as a girl.
The Lord is my shepherd — He is my guide, protector, caregiver. He watches out for danger. He goes before me.
I shall not want. — I lack nothing. I have no other needs or desires. He provides everything for me. He is the source of all provision.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures — Sometimes God has to get me to stop, to lie down, to rest. It goes against my nature, but He knows it is what I need. I can’t just keep walking and pushing all the time. I need rest and renewal. He chooses the means to do this, and sometimes it may seem harsh if I’m unwilling to follow His gentle nudges to rest.
He leadeth me beside the still waters — In order to be nourished and refreshed, I need to be at a still place. God provides those still waters, still moments of refreshing and healing. It may take the form of a quiet place to focus on His Word. Perhaps it is just a healthy meal. With Him, my thirst is always quenched.
He restoreth my soul — The Lord brings back the calm my soul was lacking with the business and worries of this life. He rebuilds my broken spirit. In Him I find restoration. Just like a restored vintage car, I’m able to run again full speed through the touch of His restoring hand.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake — God guides me in the right path or to do good for a purpose. When I walk in obedience in the way He leads, I give glory to His name. When I do right, I draw people to Him, for it’s only in Him and through His strength that I’m able to live the life of righteousness.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil — I have nothing to fear even when I don’t see the way…when all seems dark and death. His perfect love casts out all fear. Satan wants us to fear, to doubt, to question God. Even in the darkest moments, I will not fear.
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me — There is no fear, because God is with me. I see the rod as His Word and the staff as His Spirit. With these I have comfort in the midst of trying times or during moments when Satan wants me to fear.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies — Even when the world around me is at war against God and Satan is on the prowl, I am able to enjoy the blessings of the Lord. He is always showering me with the richest of blessings and allowing me to enjoy His presence.
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over — He fills me with His Spirit, His presence. I can ask no greater blessing. I’m full to overflowing with his comfort, mercies, grace and care.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life — In Christ there is no doubt, but full assurance that His blessings will continue till my dying breath…and into eternity with Him. His mercies are new EVERY morning and God is good ALL the time.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. — Jesus has gone before me to prepare a place for me, that I might dwell with him forever. Oh, what wonderful hope and comfort.
Pray through this psalm in the quiet of your day. Make it a prayer of thanksgiving and worship. Swim deep in His Word to find rest and restoration for your soul. “Oh, soul are you weary and troubled?…Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim…in the light of His glory and grace.”
Grace and Peace