THE LORD IS MY SHEPHARD
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.
5 Thou 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.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
THE Good Shepherd: The twenty third Psalms is one of the most widely known and best loved portions of all the Scripture, Its words of love and beauty difficulty, trial and even death. Its simplicity has ever endeared it to the hearts of men. “The LORD Is my shepherd; I shall not want” is a comprehensive statement that explains the meaning of the entire Twenty-third Psalm. God is the shepherd of the righteous, and His people are His sheep. Men are in desperate need of a guiding hand all through life; and God is all that and more to the soul who will look to Him for guidance, love and protection.
The safety and protection of his flock is the shepherd’s responsibility, because his sheep are not capable of property seeking pasture and drink for themselves. Neither are the sheep capable of defending them-selves from the wild beasts, or the perils that beset then in the hardships of the road. It is the shepherd’s duty safety to guide his sheep around all obstacles that threaten to harm and injure His flock. He is the one who will defend His flock with His life from all attacks of evil beasts, marauders, thieves, or murderers. A wonderful discourse is given to us in the New Testament wherein Jesus tells the people that He is the Shepherd of the sheep. He said of Himself, (John 10: 11). That was exactly what Jesus did for His people – the sheep of His pasture. He gave His life for them, that they might escape the terrible hazards of sin and its ultimate penalty – eternal death Jesus’ Blood, shed on Calvary’s cross, is the propitiation for our sins, and we have receive eternal life by believing in the efficacy of that cleansing stream.
BOUNTIFUL PASTURE: we are taught here that we shall not suffer want, not lack any good thing if we look to God for His provision. As the shepherd leads his flocks to still waters; and green pastures where the sheep are fed and watered in abundance, so God leads His people to the source of an everlasting supply of good; namely, the fountain of Living Waters Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 28: 10); and He hath filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53) Isaiah said of the Shepherd of Israel: (Isaiah 49:10). Jesus said to the thirsty, (John 7: 37). The promises of God are pertinent not only to this present world for the needs of body and soul during our pilgrimage upon earth, but are for our well-being and enjoyment in the Apostle was given a vision of the great City of God that we might know a little of the bliss the saints of God will inherit. (Revelation 21: 3 – 4). It is little wonder then, in view of such things, that the Psalmist, as he wrote the Twenty-seventh Psalm, summed up his desire thus: (psalm 27: 4). David desired to dwell in the Temple of God – the New Jerusalem – with God through all eternal. His desire, for the time spent in this present world, was that he might meditate on the beauty and perfection of God through prayers and worship. It is the right and privilege of the child of God to inquire of God in His holy Temple through the medium of worship and praise to God. He who has tasted and seen that God is good loses all earthly desire for the possessions of this world and desires only that he might dwell with God forever. Perhaps the Psalmist had such in mind when he wrote in (psalm 34: 8).
COMFORTING PRESENCE: Palms 23: and 27 the great confidence possessed by the psalmist is shown. He fears no evil that might come against him. The climax of his emphasis is reached when he says: “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. “Death has lost its terrors and its sting for the redeemed because of the victorious resurrection of Christ. He conquered death, hell, and the grave in that resurrection. At the time of death, the sky of life may be darkened, and pain may be suffered momentarily, but the fears and ter-ros of death are gone for the Christian because he is looking to the great Shepherd of the sheep to guide him. The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? There is no answer to such questions, for there is none greater than the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Romans 8: 31 – 39).
CUP OF BLESSINGS: David thought of the hazards of the past life, of the many enemies that had striven to kill him; and praised God for the great deliverances God had wrought in his behalf. God had literally set a table of blessings and protection for him, in the presence of his enemies. It seem that the worse predicament because dwelt with him. David compared God’s great love and devotion for His sheep to a cup that runneth over because of its fullness. Much of this same theme is presented in the Twenty-seventh Psalm where the Psalmist says, “when my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Parental affection is from God; and of all the human bonds, these parental ties and affections are the hardest to sever. But the Psalmist said that even though such calamity should come upon him – that his own parents should forsake him – yet God would console him and keep him. Twenty-seventh Psalms continues the theme of God’s protection insomuch that God will hide His own in His Tabernacle and in His presence. This Scriptural passage emphasizes the great personal interest God has in His own and brings to mind the incident and lesson when Jesus compared the protecting interest of God over His people with a hen gathering her chicks under her wings. Jesus said, at that time, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gather her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23: 37). In the Psalms we find the same thought, for there it is written, “He shall cover thee with feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (Psalm 91: 4). Goodness of the Lord Psalm 23 and 27 ends with a confident note of God’s goodness and mercy that is the portion of His people. David’s confidence that goodness and mercy should follow him all the days of his life was justified, because he who lives for the glory of God receives God’s rewards. These rewards include joy, peace, and everlasting life – all made possible through the goodness and mercy of Almighty God. God’s promise is: “forget not the law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee” (proverbs 3:1 – 2). David had ample opportunity to prove the saving power and infinite grace of God in his life, because his soul and his life had been in jeopardy any times in the past. Of such times he said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 27: 13). Here is a strong indictment and testimony against all sluggards who continually put off their rightful service to God. The day trouble will arrive; and having no savior, those who put off their duty to God shall perish like flower of the field, but not so with David. His trust had been in the living God. And he advised those less confident of God’s salvation to “wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27: 14). God’s favor will follow me everywhere I go this new year and beyond kin the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ. Shalom!