God, help me to put You in the center of my life today, regardless of my circumstances.
Read Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
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 overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever resented God when you’ve experienced a difficulty in your life?
David—the shepherd boy who became king—refers to his old vocation to create a moving metaphor about God’s loving provision and care. As shepherd, God “leads” (2b), “refreshes” (3), “guides” (3b) and shows “comfort” (4b), “goodness” and “love” (6).
This psalm does not promise a happiness that comes from an easy life. Rather it shows the comforting presence and guidance of God through a multitude of different life situations, including a walk “through the darkest valley” (4b) and a meal “in the presence of my enemies” (5b). Ultimately, whether the psalmist is experiencing good times or bad times, he lacks nothing (1) or, as another translation says, “there is no need that God cannot fulfill” (Leslie F. Brandt, Psalms Now).
The psalmist switches from using the third person, talking about God in verses 1 to 3, “The Lord is my shepherd’, to the second person from verses 4 to 6: “you are with me,“ ,”you anoint my head with oil,” to show both familiarity and dependence.
The psalmist is not distracted by either misery or blessing because in the end God is placed at the center of things. Is God at the center of your existence or an “add-on”?
Pray Psalm 23 today.