I know most of you have heard Psalm 23. It is probably the best known and most beloved of the Psalms.
It was written by King David. When he was a boy, he was a shepherd watching his father’s flocks in the hills around Bethlehem, so it was natural for him to write this poem comparing Jesus to a shepherd and us to the sheep in the shepherd’s care.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (The Lord will watch over me just like a shepherd watches over his sheep, and He will make sure I have all that I need. He will always take care of me.)
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul. (God will provide me a comforting place to rest, refreshing water, and will renew me when I am tired or depressed or anxious.)
He leads me in the right paths for His name’s sake. (He will show me the right way to go and the right things to do, so I can honor Him.)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and staff they comfort me. (Even when things seem dark or scary, I do not ever have to be afraid because the Lord is always with me and will provide comfort for me. A shepherd used his staff and rod to reach out to his sheep and pull them to safety if they were in trouble.)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Even when I feel like I am being attacked by enemies, God will give me provisions and care for all my needs. He blesses me again and again with His grace. In Bible times, they poured oil on someone’s head to bless them.)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. (God will certainly provide protection and forgiveness to me wherever I go and whatever I do for the rest of my life. Then I will go to heaven to live with Him.)
These words are certainly a wonderful way to think about God’s love and care for each of us. It is full of hope and promises made to us by our Lord. Let’s thank Him for His care of us!
Dear God, thank you so much for loving us, protecting us, providing for us, and watching over us. Please help us to remember this as we go about our daily activities. You tell us not to worry about anything, but to trust You. May we always remember to do just that. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Ann Moody is coordinator of Christian education for First Presbyterian Church of Gallipolis.