The other day I was texting with a friend, and we were discussing how we sometimes forget the meaning that is in the most common Scripture passages. Psalm 23 was the passage we were discussing in particular. So when I came to it in my Psalms Bible Study, I decided to try to study it as though it were my first time reading it, instead of viewing it as an extremely familiar passage that I’ve had memorized for as long as I can remember.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
This beautiful psalm, using the terminology of a shepherd with his flock of sheep, shows five characteristics of God as He works in the hearts and lives of His children. He is our Nurturer, our Provider, our Guide, our Protector, and our Companion.
He meets our spiritual and our physical needs, calling us to Him for a deeper relationship with Him, providing us with exactly what we need.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
When we are willing to follow Him, He guides us in the paths He has marked for us.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
When His paths are difficult, He is there to protect us and comfort us. He protects us from danger, and He protects us from sin, when we heed His Word, listen to His voice, and ask Him for deliverance from temptation. He is always with us as our companion and best friend.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Ephesians 6:10, 17-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
And in the end, He promises that we will be in His house, with Him, forever.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 23 has so much meaning to a Christian and is a beautiful picture of the way Christ cares for us. He is our Shepherd.