Psalm 23 is a timeless piece that is mostly said and memorized by a lot of people in their time of distress and frustration. I want to share this with my readers so we can glean everything that we can and make it personal in our lives.
I will be posting a 6-part series of this Psalm which is taken from the One Year Book of Psalms by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything 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 dark valley of death,
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 welcome me as a guest,
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
All you need for eternity is packed into the first five words of Psalm 23:1:
The — He is the only God, as the first commandment says. He isn’t a Lord; he is the Lord.
Lord — This name emphasizes his amazing grace, love, and faithfulness to us.
Is — This present tense verb shows that God lives. He is the same today as he was yesterday.
My — God is not an abstract power. He wants to be your personal shepherd.
Shepherd — And what a shepherd! He loves and cares for his sheep, even dying for them.
A pastor visited a very sick child once and took him word by word through Psalm 23:1 to try and comfort him. With each word the child was taught to grasp a different finger, concluding with his thumb, which represented the word shepherd. The pastor didn’t really know at the time how much the child understood.
Shortly after the little boy died, the mother spoke to the pastor and said, “Just before he died, he held very tightly to his index finger, and he seemed to want to tell me something.”
The pastor knew that the boy had understood. He has been clutching his “my” finger. He knew that the Lord was his personal shepherd to guide him “through the dark valley of death.”