Last revised: May 06, 2013

The Ten Commandments - John 3:16 - The Lord's Prayer
  The Golden Rule! - Sermon on the Mount


The 23rd Psalm

The 23rd Psalm - "The Lord is my Shepherd...

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

 

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.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

-- KJV


The 23rd Psalm

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
(or through the darkest valley),
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.

-- Life Application Bible - NIV

   


NOTES:

u In describing the Lord as a shepherd, David wrote out of his own experience because he had spent his early years caring for sheep. Sheep are completely dependent on the Shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection. The New Testament calls Jesus the good shepherd; the great Shepherd; and the Chief Shepherd. As the Lord is the good shepherd, so we are his sheep -- not frightened, passive animals, but obedient followers, wise enough to follow one who will lead us in the right places and in right ways. This psalm does not focus on the animal-like qualities of sheep, but on the discipleship qualities of those who follow. when you recognize the good shepherd, follow him!

u When we allow God our shepherd to guide us, we have contentment. When we choose to sin, however, we go our own way and cannot blame God for the environment we create for ourselves. Our shepherd knows the "green pastures" and "quiet waters" that will restore us. We will reach these places only by following him obediently. Rebelling against the shepherd's leading is actually rebelling against our own best interests. We must remember this the next time we re tempted to go our own way rather than the shepherd's way.

u Death casts a frightening shadow over us because we are entirely helpless in its presence. We can struggle with other enemies -- pain, suffering, disease, injury -- but strength and courage cannot overcome death. It has the final word. Only one person can walk with us through death's dark valley and bring us safely to the other side -- the God of life, our shepherd. Because life is uncertain, we should follow this shepherd who offers us eternal comfort.

u In ancient Near Eastern culture, at a banquet it was customary to anoint a person with fragrant oil as a lotion. Hosts were also expected to protect their guests at all costs. God offers the protection of a host even when enemies surround us. In the final scene of this psalm, we see that believers will dwell with God. God, the perfect shepherd and host, promises to guide and protect us through life to bring us into his house forever.

-- Life Application Bible - NIV


The 23rd Psalm

"The Lord is my Shepherd...

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!

Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.

-- The Book (Tyndale House Publishers)


David's psalm is a joyful proclamation of God's providence. Humankind can live free from fear because, like the good shepherd, God will always provide, protect, and guide this flock.

"You anoint my head with oil" - When a king made a covenant with a vassal, he often sealed it by holding a banquet. During the festivities, it was customary to anoint the head of his guests with oil as a sign of friendship and protection.


"We pray that your visit will refresh you in your walk with God."

 

The Ten Commandments - John 3:16 - The Lord's Prayer
  The Golden Rule! - Sermon on the Mount


 

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