Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The Lord shepherds me, I shall not be lacking. With the Lord as our shepherd, even though we are woefully lacking due to sin, we are restored and not lacking due to Jesus’ precious gift of salvation. Prayerfully remind yourself and others of that.
Psalm 23:2a “The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures.” We may not want the Lord to make us lie down any more than children want to be made to lie down when they need rest. Rest and the nourishment of green pastures gives us energy to do more, not less. Prayerfully share that good news with yourself and others with thanksgiving.
Psalm 23:2b “The Lord leads me beside still waters.” Our Lord Jesus leads and guides his flock to green pastures and comforting waters of life. Jesus leads us into rest and peace with our God. We are not lacking in grace and comfort from our Lord There is great comfort in that for ourselves and to share with others.
Psalm 23:3a: “The Lord, my shepherd, restores my soul.” Jesus restores our life, brings us to life and refreshes us daily. He turns our lives around for the better and repairs and renews us. Share that blessing with others. Pray for that for yourselves and others.
Psalm 23:3b: “The Lord, my Shepherd, leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.” That restores my soul. Even though the path seems unclear to us, Jesus’ righteousness is our light, our life, and our salvation. The paths of righteousness include nourishing and refreshing green pastures along with still waters. All this Jesus does for us and for his name’s sake, freeing us up to give glory to his name. Prayerfully remind yourself of that often, and share that good news with others.
Psalm 23:4a: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Jesus, our good Shepherd, is with us even in the shadow of his death on the cross. Of course, we have fears. With Jesus we learn to go on and overcome those fears and we can prayerfully help others as well. The shadow of death is not forever. Eternal life in Christ is forever.
Psalm 23:4b: “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” When we are led by the Good Shepherd through the dark valleys and the sunny peaks, he has a rod and a staff to guide and comfort us. The rod is most often thrown ahead of a distracted sheep to get its attention. Perhaps a tap with the rod or staff may be needed. Those signals and taps are a great comfort in times of trouble. Pray that you might notice and heed them.
Psalm 23:5a: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Good Lord, the Good Shepherd guides us through the dark valleys of this world and then prepares a place of nourishment for us, green pastures and still water right in the midst of our enemies, all that opposes our following our Lord Jesus. Prayerfully share Jesus comfort, strength and guidance with others.
Psalm 23:5b: “Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.” Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd King anoints his followers with the oil of salvation. We are children of the king. That opportunity is there not just for us, but for others as well. Share our opportunity. Jesus anoints each one of his followers, and each of our cups overflow with the joy of the Lord which is our strength. Jesus gives us the strength when we are strong and we are weak and that joyous strength overflows to be shared with others.
Psalm 23:6a: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” God’s goodness and mercy pursues us wherever we go, not to destroy us but to cleanse us, renew us, and rebuild us. Share that good news with others.