Pondering Psalm 23

As I continue my walking and reading the Psalms, my foot is becoming more mobile and my soul more blessed by pondering these scriptures!
Psalm 23 is by far the best known of all. It is recited at weddings, funerals and many other occasions. It is committed to memory by most kid’s Sunday School classes and at least part of it can be remembered by many, even unbelievers.
By the time David writes Psalm 23, he has been a shepherd himself so He knows a lot about sheep. Yet, that is no answer as to why we get such comfort from it. It is not a long psalm, but neither is it the shortest, so that can’t be the only reason to commit it to memory.
I believe that because it deals with the main aspects of life all in one Psalm is one reason why we find it so comforting and reassuring. Take a look!
V1: I shall not want! He will provide!
V2: He makes me lie in Green pastures and by still waters! He will give rest and refreshment!
V3: He restores my soul! New strength for each day!
V3: leads me in the right paths: Divine Guidance!
V4: Though I walk through the valley of death…..He is with me! Comfort in Death!
V4: I will fear no evil! Removal of fear!
V5: You prepare a table for me! Bountiful provision
V5: Anointed with oil! Health and Wisdom
V6: Goodness and Mercy shall follow me! Loving and being loved!
V6: I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever! Eternally secure!
The Great Shepherd gives His own life for His sheep!
Note how easily David flips from talking to us one minute and the next to God!
V1-3 he is talking directly to us and from 4-6 he is talking explicitly to God. This shows the intimate relationship David has with his God, when he can talk in the same way as he would with his dearest friend! Throughout the Psalms David alternates between talking to the reader and worshiping the Inspirer!
But on a much more serious note, God can’t do for us what it says in verse 4 onward unless we have let Him do what is in v 1-3 first. We need to allow Him to be our shepherd, to lead and guide us, to restore our souls back to Him before He can prepare the table, walk through the valley, remove the fear or assure us of the fact that our home in heaven is waiting! The promises of 1-6 are for everyone, but the promises of 4-6 will only be enjoyed by those who have made sure that they are guided by the Shepherd through verses 1-3, and that means we have to decide to belong to His flock!!
The promises God gives us here are like the covenants He made with the prophets in the Old Testament. Remember when He prepared the sacrifice, He walked between the sacrifices and He made His promises to bless and to prosper! It was all of Him and all that was required of those who went before us was to trust Him and follow Him! Yet they found that hard to do, just as we do today! Look again at the psalm:
He is
He leads
He makes
He restores
He prepares
He is with me
He comforts
Nothing from us: We don’t deserve it and yet…! He gives it all, keeps all the promises and all we have to do is obey the Shepherd.
Isn’t it comforting to think that there is no way we can earn, learn for, work toward or ever deserve our Salvation, yet we can own it in simple faith!
David was certainly not always faithful, always fearless, always where he should have been, but he had learned to trust the Shepherd and even when he sinned to return to the only one who was always faithful and true! Do you know the Shepherd?
No wonder the psalm is well known and loved! It provides us with the entirety of the Gospel in six verses and gives us the hope for the future we are all searching for!

Leave a Reply