WALKING WITH THE LORD
Loving Father, forgive me for my small faith, narrow vision, and spiritual blindness.
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,[a]
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
- Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death
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.
ReflectWhen you think about God being present with you, what or who exactly do you sense and envisage? You have a personal relationship with your Savior; you can ask him to make his presence more real to you today.
This best known and most loved of psalms picks up where we left off yesterday. Jesus is walking with us, wherever we go. Scripture is packed with deep lessons to learn, of course, and Psalm 23 is no exception. However, sometimes we are allowed to relax our minds, to rest in the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to share with us as we soak up truths beyond words. Apart from anything else, this is wonderful poetry. Try reading it in the Authorized Version.
The circumstances of the writer (and singer) shift as the psalm moves through varied landscapes. Meanwhile, the good shepherd is utterly constant, and so the mood of the psalm remains peaceful and contented throughout. It is striking that the ideas of both death and evil are easily subsumed in the overall harmony of the piece (v 4). They are passing incidentals: at once the follower is comforted and this soon turns to celebration. Notice how seamlessly the writing shifts from the shepherd to the feasting image. Both ideas are pointing us towards something deeper: someone beyond our comprehension but utterly real. He will care for us forever.
Find one of the many musical adaptations of Psalm 23. Listen to it prayerfully, singing along if you like.
Dear Lord, my shepherd, companion, and host. Because of you and your goodness to me I lack nothing, fear no evil, and know one day you will lead me safely home.
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