Psalm 23- Today's Devotional

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Psalm 23- Today's Devotional

Psalm 23


Psalm 23 is a psalm of David. Unlike many other Psalms where David complaints, in psalm 23 David speaks of the goodness, protection, comfort and reign of God over his life. The psalm has beautiful imagery painting beautiful images of nature through the words. Matthew Henry gives the following frame for the psalm.

(i) Addresses God as shepherd of mankind. – Verse 1
(ii) He recalls his experiences with God as a shepherd – Verse 2,3,4,5
(iii) Assurance of God’s providence in his life – Verse 6

The Psalm

Verses 1-3
Sheep are animals that cannot survive by themselves. The basic need of a sheep is food and safety. They cannot sustain by themselves. They need a shepherd to take care of them. Similarly man is a being that cannot live without God. David is a shepherd. He deeply realizes the fact that man cannot live without God just as how the sheep cannot live without shepherd. God is someone who takes me to the green pastures and helps to take me to still waters so that the sheep can peacefully drink. Thirdly not because humans are good, but because God is good he leads people in the paths of righteousness.

Verse 4
Just as the sheep faces dark valley which is like death, humans many times enter into dark phases of life longing to be freed from the darkness. Humans maybe lost like lonely sheep. David gives a confession of faith that God is someone that saves humans from this shadow of death and he is not afraid to face the darkness and evil of valley of shadow of death.

Verse 5
In verse 5, David pictures himself as being invited to the table of God especially in the presence of his enemies. This means a lot to him. Probably he might have an intimidation in front of his enemies. But as God invites him to his table he feels secure being assured that God is on his side. God did not only invite him but also anointed him with oil. Probably David is reflecting on the event of him being positioned as king over Israel.

Verse 6
In verse 6, David concludes the psalm by reflecting on the promise of God that never ends. He is pretty confident that God is someone that will never leave him or forsake him which gives a sense of confidence to David.

Previous (Psalm 12)

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Psalm 23 is one I learned by-rote as a child in the King James Version, which though archaic, for this I find it beautiful:

Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 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.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Here is a commentary from the MacArthur NKJV Study Bible, and the layout is similar to Matthew Henry’s:

NKJV MacArthur Study Bible
23:1–6 This psalm is probably the best known passage of the OT. It is a testimony by David to the Lord’s faithfulness throughout his life. As a hymn of confidence, it pictures the Lord as a disciple’s Shepherd-King-Host. David, by using some common ancient Near Eastern images in Ps. 23, progressively unveils his personal relationship with the Lord in 3 stages.

David’s Exclamation: “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (23:1a)
David’s Expectations (23:1b-5b)
“I Shall Not Want” (23:1b-3)
“I Will Fear No Evil” (23:4, 5b)
David’s Exultation: “My Cup Runs Over” (23:5c-6)

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A post was merged into an existing topic: My Devotions

The Lord …
You are THE Lord. There is no one like You. And You are MY Lord. Thank You for being my Lord.

Is …
You ARE my Lord today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow … today! Thank You for being present today as my Lord.

My Shepherd …
Lord, You guide me like a Shepherd. You follow me as I roam and make sure that I am OK. I trust You to guide me. You are the Great Shepherd, and You do not lose even one of Your sheep. I know Your voice, and I will follow You all the days of my life.

This is very informative and helpful as I try to read the Bible. We really need posts like this in this community to help other people understand the Bible more, because honestly it is quite hard to understand. thank you, @Moses_C! God bless you!