The Journey of a Lifetime (Part One)

The twenty-third Psalm is the most beloved passage of Scripture. It resonates through funeral homes and grave sides as mourners turn to it for solace. “This psalm is a poem of great beauty, describing the peace and calm delight which dwell with one whose trust is wholly in God” /1
This is a psalm of faith and grace that provides beauty, answers, strength, satisfaction, fulfillment and an antidote to worry. It describes the blessed journey of life with our Lord. It brims with lessons that we can apply to our lives.
First, it illustrates how important it is to find a guide (23:1-3a). David was a shepherd long before he led the people of God (1 Samuel 17:34). His depth of understanding of shepherding led to the proclamation that God was his shepherd. His affirmation sustained his life.
In the Christian era we have Christ as our shepherd. He said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 14:10, NKJV).
David’s psalm is a very personal, poignant statement. He is writing of himself when he says, “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). Whether he is the shepherd for anyone else is immaterial. While David would want everyone to express the same conviction, he is speaking solely of himself as he expresses his devotion. Similarly, Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Today, we must make our decision as to our allegiance and stand firm.
The Lord is my shepherd for my basic needs. Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing will He withhold for those who walk uprightly.” Moreover, he is my shepherd for spiritual things (James 1:17).
David writes, “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 paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3).
The shepherd is everything to the sheep. He is their protector and provider. Therefore, when the sheep are with an experienced and conscientious shepherd, they will not want for anything. As someone has written, “I shall not want for God, for drink, for grace and beauty, for quietness, for companionship, for guidance, for a welcome back again when I have wandered.”
We seek the necessary items of sustenance, clothing and care in this world. Christ promises his children these will be taken care of. Matthew 6:31 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying. ?What shall we eat?’ or ?What shall we drink?’ or ?What shall we wear?'” Jesus then adds, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 24:33). The good shepherd always takes care of his sheep.
David writes that the sheep of the Good Shepherd’s flock lie down in green pastures. David knew that sheep only lie down when they feel safe. They know their shepherd is taking care of everything and they need not worry. This is a picture of calm repose, satisfaction and abundance.
This beautiful imagery can be the picture of our lives when we submit ourselves to the Good Shepherd. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
God is waiting for us to come to him to be born again into the flock of God (John 3:3-5; Romans 6:3-4). Please do so today.
/1. Pulpit Commentary, 8:163.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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