Not too many of us have taken time to break down the content of Psalm 23 which guarantees hope, encouragement and solace in the face of life’s greatest challenges, including death. King David, himself a former shepherd, begins this Psalm with, “The LORD is my shepherd,” immediately putting himself as a sheep (metaphorically) in the care of Jesus Christ.
The Lord wants to take care of each of us, much like a shepherd cares for his sheep. Psalm 23:1 (AMP) says, “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.” God wants to take care of every one of our needs. He is our Protector and our Provider. Continuing with, “I shall not want,” David indicates here that as a sheep in Christ’s care, he was confident that he would lack nothing.
He goes on to write in verse 2, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.”. God is our Caretaker, seeing to it that we have what we need in life. It might not always be what we think we need, but we can trust that He knows better. We do not have a real need that He will not meet and because of that, we can experience a wonderful sense of peace. Both the “green pastures” and “still waters” indicate a blessed abundance, further illustrating the benefits of a God-led life
Psalm 23:3 begins, “He restores my soul.” David understood that he was a sinner, but also that Christ had redeemed him and would continue to restore him upon repentance. 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.” He refreshes us with His wisdom and restores us with His strength. And He leads us to righteousness and does good things for us, not because we deserve it, but because of the power and reputation of His name.
Psalm 23:1–3 tells us that the shepherd meets the sheep’s every need: food, water, rest, safety, and direction. When we as believers follow our Shepherd, we, too, know that we will have all we need. We will not lack the necessities of life, for He knows exactly what we need
Verses 4 and 5 say, “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. From personal experience, David knew that occasionally the shepherd had to lead his flock through treacherous terrain. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.” Whatever is going on in our lives, or when the enemy comes against us in some way, we still have access to God’s presence, power and peace. We never need to be fearful, because He is always guiding and protecting us.
Finally, David declares in verse 6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord [and in His presence] forever.” Doesn’t it excite you to know that God’s goodness and His mercy are with you everywhere you go and that He loves you…no matter what? You are always under His care and protection. Because the Lord is YOUR Shepherd!
In conclusion, since we believe the Word of GOD is true, being believers and sheep of Jesus the shepherd, Psalm 23 is our evidence that we are guaranteed a blissful experience in our lives, despite the situations around us.
Jide Charles ©