This psalm of David is probably the one that is best known for it is often quoted at church on special occasions. I believe the truth and application of this psalm are so relevant to the unprecedented season of life that the world is now experiencing. This psalm is one of hope and encouragement and it is important to take the time to understand what it means for it uses the word shepherd in a way that we do not use in our everyday living. There is an adage that says: “There is no substitute for experience” and this why we should take note of what is written because David was a shepherd. He was looking after the sheep when he was anointed to be king of Israel. This is what he was doing when his father asked him to take food to his brothers, who were in Saul’s army, while he was at the battleground delivering the food he killed Goliath because he defied his God. It was also revealed that he had killed a lion and a bear who had come to attack the sheep. I want to now look at Verse 1 which says: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not wantNLT The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything that I needAMP The Lord is my shepherd – to feed, guide and shield me; I shall not lack”. The first thing that caught my attention is the phrase ‘The Lord is’ – here it states very clearly that the Lord is in control now. This is such a comfort in the season we find ourselves in. It is so good to understand that COVID 19 did not take the Lord by surprise so if we allow Him to order our lives and the way that we live then we have nothing to fear. The big issue is – will I allow Him to be Lord of my life. When Jesus was on the earth, He challenged the people in Luke 6:46 which says: “But why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do the things which I say”. As we look at this we know that the sheep always obeyed the shepherd. The statement ‘The Lord is’ is so comforting because it means that I can relax and not worry because the Lord has everything under control. The next thing that impacted me was the word ‘My’ – it is so good to realize that I am special and important to Him. It is my relationship with the Lord that counts – while there are multiple millions alive today the Lord does not treat us as a group but as an individual and that individual is important to Him. With our natural understanding, we tend to look at people and place importance on them based on their ability – God does not see us that way – everyone is precious in His sight. Next, the verse declares what ‘the Lord is’ – He is my shepherd. This statement needs a thorough explanation because our concept of a shepherd today is different from the role of a shepherd in biblical times.  A shepherd would look after a flock of sheep usually about 100 sheep in number and would be with them every hour of the day. He would provide a safe place for them to rest at night which was called a fold and he would sleep in the entrance to protect the sheep. Every day he would lead the sheep to the best pasture with plenty of water. The shepherd would protect them from wild animals and the sheep learned to follow his voice and was comforted by his presence. In John 10:1-30 Jesus taught that He was the good shepherd and that He would lay down His life for His sheep. The final truth that this verse declares is because He is my shepherd the Lord would provide everything that I need. In this season of so much uncertainty, we can relax because the Lord has promised that He would leed and provide for us everything that we need – all we need to do is to be certain that we are one of His sheep.

1 thought on “Reflections on Psalm 23

  1. what a beautiful picture you painted of the shepherd tending his sheep and to realise God Almighty is our Shepherd brings life into perspective. Such a beautiful fresh revelation.

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