The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Most everyone is probably familiar with this Psalm. It was one of the first verses of the Bible I ever memorized.
Let’s take an in depth look at this beautiful Psalm.
The Lord is my Shepherd. What is a shepherd? We all know that shepherds watch over sheep. The sheep provide them with wool for clothes and to make sure the wool is the best quality, the shepherd tends to the every need of the sheep. The sheep need to be happy, content, and stress free and that’s what the shepherd wants for his sheep. He works so hard for them, tends to their every need. In exchange, the sheep give him wool.
The parallels here are powerful!
God as our Shepherd, takes care of our every need. In exchange, we offer him praises. He wants us to be happy and content and safe. He leads us to green pastures and beside still waters, no matter the circumstances of life going on around us.
In this world, there is sickness and death, tragedy and pain, through all the murder, abuse, fights, wars, disease, through every bad and evil thing that happens on this earth, when you’re in the darkness night and the deepest valley, God will carry you through. Though you walk through the shadow of the valley of death, you don’t have to fear any evil, for God is with you!
His rod and staff fends off the evil. It protects you, his precious sheep. Let that rod and staff be a comfort to you. In the presence of your enemies, of whatever people are against you, whatever circumstance is overwhelming you, God will prepare a table for you and give you a feast. He will bless you but more than that, He will pour out blessings over you until they run over—so many blessings that will be far more abundantly above all you can ask or think.
Goodness and God’s mercy, His love, and grace will be with us all the days of our lives. Then, we will live with the Lord forever.
What a true comfort and reassurance this psalm is to us today!