The Lord is my shepherd (2)

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads 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 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 runs 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
Forever.

The Lord is my shepherd. If I call the Lord as my shepherd, then I see myself as His sheep. As a sheep, I am completely dependent on Him, my shepherd. So often I think I can depend on myself, forgetting that I should always depend on Him, for I cannot live on my own. As a sheep I cannot live without my shepherd. I cannot live without God.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. The rod of the Lord guards me from my enemies. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death, the evil one is always ready to attack. But the Lord protects me with His rod. His staff directs me. Through the valley of darkness, I may not be able to see what is ahead. The darkness may lead me astray. But the Lord directs me to the right path with His staff. Both His rod and His staff comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. The enemies are all around me. Living in the world, the Lord sent me like sheep among the wolves. I am in an utterly desperate situation. I have no possibility to survive, unless one thing: that my shepherd, the Lord, is with me. Indeed, I am at peace because of His presence. He even prepares a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. Desperation is replaced with celebration.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. All the goodness in my life is from God alone; it is not from myself. Nothing that I have I do not receive from Him. His blessings are more than enough for me. And as they fill me, they overflow unto others. As I learn to be content, by giving thanks to Him for whatever He has given me, I learn that it is only then the blessings will overflow unto others.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Why shall I want, if goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life?

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. What shall I do then, as a response to my Lord? I will dwell in His house forever. I will serve Him forever. I surrender my life and my all to Him. All the blessings that I receive from Him should always lead me to Himself. The blessings are not an end in themselves. He is the Giver, and in Him I am most satisfied. As a sheep longs to be near his shepherd, so shall I long to be near Him forever.


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