1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth 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 thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth 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 for ever.
For the month of March, I plan to take a diversion from going through the psalms and take a new look at an old beloved psalm, the 23rd psalm, also known as the Shepherd's psalm. I will resume, Lord willing, the devotionals from all the psalms in April, continuing with the "do not destroy" psalms of Ps. 57, Ps. 58, and Ps. 59.
David's most famous psalm is a tranquil, assuring song and psalm is taken from his earlier years as a shepherd. Our formative early years often sets us on a path, good or bad, which can chart the rest of our lives.
In my formative years, I remember listening to Keith Green's soothing rendition of this psalm. Melissa and I worked one summer at a resort ministry when a young, almost angelic, boy drowned. As the rescue workers worked in vain to revive her son, the mother found comfort by listening over and over to Keith Green's passionate, powerful song.
The words of the 23rd psalm continue to comfort me and innumerable others. Prayerfully walk with me through this psalm during March. The following is an outline of where we will go.
- The Setting: Psalm 22, 24.
- The Sheep: Psalm 23
- The Shepherd: The LORD is my shepherd (v. 1a.)
- The Satisfaction: I shall not want (v. 1b)
- The Settling: He maketh me to lie down (v. 2a)
- The Sustenance of the : in green pastures (v. 2b)
- The Submission of the sheep: He leadeth me (v. 2c)
- The Serenity of Shepherd’s lead: beside the still waters (v. 2d)
- The Soul’s Restoration: He restoreth my soul (v. 3a)
- The Salvation of Righteousness: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
- The Sake of His Name: for His name’s sake (v. 3b)
- The Sadness Through the Valley: Yea, though I walk through the valley (v. 4a)
- The Shadow of Death: of the shadow of death (v. 4b)
- The Separation from Fear: I will fear no evil (v. 4c)
- The Staying of the Savior: for Thou art with me (v. 4d)
- The Soothing Protection Thy rod and Thy staff (v. 4e)
- The Solace in Correction: they comfort me (v. 4f)
- The Supply of Nourishment: Thou preparest a table before me (v. 5a)
- The Surrounding of Adversity: in the Presence of mine enemies (v. 5b)
- The Sanctification of the Spirit: Thou anointest my head with oil (v. 5c)
- The Superabundance of the Spirit: my cup runneth over (v. 5d)
- The Surety of Earthly Blessings: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (v. 6a)
- The Sanctuary of Eternal Blessings: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (v. 6b)