The Lord Is My Shepherd
This Psalm is a declaration of trust and confidence!
Read Psalm 23.
The first emphasis that David makes is of the Lord God as a shepherd to his people. It's an emphasis that Jesus makes about himself as well. Can you say that the Lord is 'my shepherd'? -- do you know the personal care, protection and provision that the Good Shepherd provides?
We quickly see how the Shepherd operates: 'he makes me lie down', 'he leads me', 'he refreshes my soul', 'he guides me'. David had been a shepherd, and he uses his intimate knowledge of that life, and his utter dependance on the Lord to show us that God offers us rest, refreshing, and guidance to an eternal source of sustenance and strength.
The shepherd's rod and staff were used to fend off wild animals and to guide the sheep to a safe path. David is explaining that even in our 'darkest valley' God's presence and guidance will be with us.
Then we see a picture of a great banquet, with the Lord as the host, honoring his guests by anointing them with oil until it overflows. This is a taste of the everlasting fellowship with the Lord that is to come.
The Psalm concludes with the conviction that God's goodness and love will be our constant companions! The word for God's goodness in Hebrew means welfare, prosperity, pleasure; whilst the Hebrew word for God's love means kindness, mercy and favor. What great companions to have in life!
In John 10 v.11-14 we read of Jesus the Good Shepherd. We remember that Jesus is the highest expression of God's love for us, and we remember that we are no longer 'like sheep that have gone astray' (Isaiah 53.6) but instead are part of the Lord's flock-receiving special care, attention and affection.
Give thanks right now for Jesus the Good Shepherd, for God's shepherdly love for us, and receive God's goodness and love as your constant companions!