The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Wow. If I’m sheep lying down in the only food I want to eat, and surrounded by it, then that’s where I want to be.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
Again, really feeling this whole sheep with Shepherd thing.
He refreshes my soul.
Sounds like heaven: A soul refreshed. It’s like being in bliss. Like someone diving into cold streams after walking days in the desert. That’s what this reminds me of. And instead of dryness, dust and sand, there’s peace and quiet music, nature welcoming, coolness and a refreshing of the soul. ‘So good it gets all the way to your soul’ kind of experience.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
He does the guiding. I never have to worry that I missed a turn – if I’m the sheep in this story. There are so many possible wrong turns and paths leading to nowhere or much worse than nowhere. But that’s not my problem. I get to go on the right paths. For his name’s sake? Does this mean if He can’t get me on the right path, then “he” has failed? But does the Shepherd ever fail? This is all theory; if I was guiding and I couldn’t guide you right, then it’s on me. But He’s God, and He never fails. I can fail if I’m doing the leading. I don’t want that responsibility – not when God’s offering to guide me!
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Valleys are usually dark. So dark, I can’t see. Fear feeds on my fears. What wolf-like creature could be lurking in the dark? No. I don’t fear because my Shepherd is with me. He must be Super Shepherd. Is there an “SS” embroidered on his cape?
Your rod and staff, they comfort me.
Every now and then when I’m walking through the valley, I feel your touch. Your staff gently redirecting me. No, not there. Left. Go left.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Now the Psalmist is talking about himself as a human. No longer his sheep form.😊 David, a man after God’s heart, anointed to be king! People after his life and his rightful throne. How audacious that he would be dining and drinking to his fill in the presence of those who seek his end! Because God Himself decides.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.
Surely! All the days of my life?! I’m going to try to let that sink in.
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Forever and ever. And ever. The hope after now. After this broken world. We get to be with Him. Lord, friend, lover of our souls. Everything.
This psalm is cool. I could be the sheep. Sign me up. What are the qualifications for the role? Dumb? Helpless? Dependent? Trusting? Seems pretty simple to me. Except those are not words I’d use to describe myself. Maybe God wants me to be that with Him.
If I acknowledge that I really don’t know what’s best and He does; that I can’t do anything without Him; that I completely trust His judgement, then maybe I’ll fit the role of sheep.
When Christ judges at the end of the world, He says He’ll separate mankind into two groups: The sheep and the goats.
Sheep may not sound so desirable but how about goat?! Sheep sounds pretty good to me. How about you? Sheep or goat?😃 Which do you want to be?
P.S. The Psalm is Psalm 23:1-6 (the whole chapter), NIV version.