We’ve arrived at the end our Psalm 23 study! Take some time to meditate on the entire Psalm. Work on committing these words to memory so that they can encourage and comfort you whenever you need them. Share them with someone else. Invite the Spirit to speak to you through God’s Word.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
What has blessed you the most from spending time in Psalm 23? What have you learned or been reminded of? How has spending time in this Psalm impacted you?
For the past four weeks, we’ve walked slowly and carefully through Psalm 23. You could say that this psalm depicts our pilgrimage through life. Perhaps that’s why it’s often read at funerals as a testimony of the one who’s earthly life has ended and as an encouragement for those still on the road. This psalm describes a journey that begins and ends with the presence of the Yahweh.
At times like these, when the daily news often leads with the number of people who’ve died from a virus in the last 24 hours, we are reminded of how fragile human life is and how susceptible we are to the threats that surround us. What’s more, the reports of how COVID-19 can affect the lungs and bring death are harrowing. While they didn’t have that virus, I’ve had three family members die of lung complications and witnessed the horror of someone struggling for breath. There is a panicked look that comes over them. Filled with fear, their eyes dart about the room searching for help. It’s a tragic and disturbing irony — the air that’s all around us can’t be absorbed by their damaged lungs. I’m so sorry if you or someone you love has experienced this struggle.
Breath begins our earthly journey. God breathed life into the first human. Every new mom and dad eagerly awaits the first breath their newborn takes. And unless Jesus returns first, at the end of our earthly lives, we will expel one last breath before we die. Yet we believe that the Giver of our first breath, and everyone after, will bring us to life again and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
That’s the ultimate hope given to us by Psalm 23. It reminds all of us that the trek we make through life begins and ends with Yahweh, and the journey in between isn’t taken alone. For all who give their trust and allegiance to him, the Good Shepherd guides us, provides for us and will lead us to our eternal home. Evil may steal our breath for a time, but it cannot overcome the Giver of life. When you know and experience the Lord’s presence, not even the valley of the shadow of death is too dark for the light of his presence.
Know that Yahweh is your Shepherd, and you lack nothing. Know that he will settle you in green pastures and lead you beside quiet waters. He will refresh your soul. He guides you along the right paths for his name’s sake. And when you walk through the darkest valleys, fear no evil. Say to him, “you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me.” Confidently proclaim, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies and anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” Be assured that his goodness and love will pursue you all the days of your life and trust that you will dwell in the house of Yahweh forever.
Spend some time with Yahweh. Thank him for his loving care and generous provision in your life. Bring all your concerns and worries to him. He hears you and wants to care for you.
Consider how you can demonstrate God’s goodness and love to others. How can you show the love of Christ to your family? Your church? Your community? We have an opportunity to reach out to many people who’ve been shaken by this crisis and show them the love of Jesus.