Day 6: Psalm 23
Chances are, you’re already very familiar with this Psalm. Psalm 23 is probably the best known of all the Psalms and you may be able to recite the Psalm in its entirety.
That being said, sometimes we can skip over familiar passages of scripture without looking again and allowing God to reveal something new.
There is definitely something new for us as we read this Psalm today!
Let’s unpack this Psalm verse by verse.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
It’s easy to look at this year and focus on all the things we have lacked, time with friends and family, holidays, concerts and parties; the list goes on. Who knew at the start of 2020 that this year would’ve panned out this way, but hear David reminds us that with God as our Shepherd, we lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
Our Shepherd is one who leads us and refreshes us; what a fantastic promise we can cling to. Especially in this time where so many things can drain us, mentally, emotionally, physically. God promises us to lead us, restore us and refresh us. Maybe we have become dry, frustrated, emotionally and mentally drained and broken. Our God makes us lie down, provides the nourishment of green pasture and provides peace and restoration through His living water.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
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.
Isn’t it reassuring that in this season that contains so many unanswered questions and so many unknowns, God isn’t in the dark, His plan still remains and His will and purposes for us remain. We can gain so much comfort from our Shepherd, knowing that He is still in control, He is on the throne, and whatever we face, He is with us. There is no need to fear, He is with us and will guide us.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
I love the imagery in this verse. God doesn’t promise that our enemies will be removed; but in the presence of our enemies, he provides, nourishes and anoints us. He supplies our physical and spiritual needs. Feeding us and anointing us to be used by Him and to overflow and be a blessing to others. God doesn’t want you to just survive, but to be blessed abundantly. He is a God of abundance! Whatever this year has brought you, whether you feel in lack or ill-equipped. God has the provision you need both physically and spiritually, not just for yourself, but also to overflow and bless others.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
What a promise to finish with, that God’s goodness and love will follow us. However this year has been for you, let’s choose to be people who dwell in God’s presence. There are so many places where we can choose to pitch our tent; to dwell. It’s so easy to be caught up in negativity and fear, but we can choose to dwell in hope, love and the goodness of our Father. Wherever we dwell, will be where we take root and receive from. Let’s choose to dwell in house of our God.
Ps Jonny Foster
Campus Pastor, Barnard Castle