A Psalm of David. The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You [are] with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.PSALM 23:1-6, NKJV
LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US
My family and I have a trail that we like to go hike from time to time. It’s a familiar trail to us now and we’ve named some of the landmarks along the way. There is the mosquito forest, hidden ox bow lake, the hunter’s glen, and “poo-poo beach” (which got it’s name when my then 4 year old son really had to use the restroom and did only to discover that there was a port-a-potty 50 yards through the woods). These familiar landmarks make the hike memorable. Each land mark, like “poo-poo beach” has a meaningful memory tied to it.
Psalm 23 is very familiar to me. It’s probably the most familiar Psalm I know. My youngest child and I quote it to each other almost every night. Because this Psalm is a well worn path in my reading/ reciting it has several key features that jump out to me as I meditate on it today. There are several places in this passage that I have grown intimately familiar with due to life circumstances. As we follow the shepherd through the eyes of a sheep going through familiar territory, I can’t help but see how the Lord has been there for me in the landmarks of my life as well.
The Lord has lead me through green pastures. He has lead me to quiet waters of refreshment. He has been there for me in the valley of the shadow of death, both as I mourned others and faced my own mortality with threatening health issues. I’ve sensed his goodness and mercy running after me.
My favorite part of this Psalm these days is where he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I am comforted knowing that the enemies that scare me, don’t scare God. He has given me peace in what would otherwise be volatile situations. I am grateful for reading and meditating on this Psalm today.
Father, Like a Shepherd lead us. You know our needs, wants, and desires. You know what is good for us. You know what situations we are in. You know the path we should go. You are gentle in the way you lead, you protect and comfort us. You bless us even in adversity. You chase us down with blessing. You give us more than we could ever want or need. You are good to us. Like a Shepherd lead us. Let us like sheep follow you. Let me trust you in the good times and in the scary. Let me look to you to provide what I need, to know what I need, to protect me when I am in danger, to comfort me when I am scared and to lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.