Heavenly Father, I gladly draw near to You now knowing that You are near to me and welcome me.
Read PSALM 23:1-6
 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even 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.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the source of the psalmist’s peace and security?
This psalm has shaped the consciousness of God’s people over centuries. It also draws together some of the themes we have been exploring over the past ten days.
This is a psalm about journey. The journey, like the Christian life, has different phases: it is not static or settled. Failure to keep moving on will run the risk of running out of resources (pasture). So God’s flock must pray, “Give us this day….” The landscape of the psalm is harsh and at times hostile. As God’s people travel, the changing landscape of history sometimes brings green pasture and quiet waters and, at others, dark and dangerous valleys. In either case, we know God is with us, to lead and care for us (4).
The image of the shepherd is not just one of care, however. Kings and leaders were often called “shepherds” (e.g. Ezek. 34). Security is found in submitting to the authority of the one who cares for the flock. Throughout Scripture, God’s assurance to his people is that he will be with us (4). The journey is unavoidable; the landscape is variable; but the presence of God is all we need.
“Even though … I will fear no evil” (4). Fill in this sentence with any fears or concerns that you have.
Lord, I know life is unpredictable, but help me to trust in Your unfailing love and care for me.
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