Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Psalm 23

I have been working my way through a book entitled, 100 Bible Verses everyone should know by heart by Robert Morgan.  I highly recommend this book! Not only does it give you a list of Bible Verses to memorize and organizes them by topic, but it also gives a commentary or devotional about each verse.
I am now on numbers 87 - 92: the Twenty Third Psalm and I have learned so much about a psalm that I memorized when I was a child. Robert Morgan gives a couple of different ways to look at this psalm. Here is the first....

Psalm 23:1 says, "The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I lack."

Notice first that it says my Shepherd.  The Lord is my Shepherd. It doesn't say "a shepherd" or "the shepherd." I am a sheep. I can't fight on my own. I can't provide for all my needs. I need someone to care for me. And Jesus is my Shepherd. He cares for me - and since He is, I will not lack.

The rest of the psalm describes the things He provides for me....
Verse 2 - I shall not lack peace and provisions because He takes me to green pastures and still waters.
Verse 3 - I shall not lack hope and encouragement because He restores my soul.
Verse 3 - I shall not lack guidance.  He leads me in paths of righteousness.
Verse 4 - I shall not lack  help during hard times, because He's with me in the valley of the shadow.
Verse 4 - I shall not lack protection - because His rod and His staff comfort me. He even prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
Verse 5 - I shall not lack healing, for he anoints my head with oil.
Verse 5-6 - I shall not lack blessings, because my cup overflows, and goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life.
Verse 6 - I shall not lack eternal life. He promises that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
(100 Bible Verses, p. 222)

Isn't that cool?

One other thing that Robert Morgan commented on, on pages 231-2, is the last verse of the psalm.

"Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live." (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

If the Lord is my Shepherd, then I am surrounded by Him. His goodness and mercy (faithful love, steadfast love, mercy, acts of kindness we don't deserve but He gives us because of His loyal and royal love for us) chases me from behind and His eternal home (the mansion Jesus went to heaven to prepare for us) is my destination. It's before me. Jesus, my Shepherd, my Savior went before me to prepare it for me - just as the shepherd goes before the sheep and prepares the way, prepares a table.  Goodness and mercy are like sheep dogs, helping me to keep going in the right direction.

I hope these thoughts encourage you as they've encouraged me.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing this!