This is Day 7. Don’t be discouraged if you missed a few days (all the posts will be available after May 31 so you can cover each one you missed). But do keep the commitment to do the Psalm each day from here forward. Also, keep writing down your thoughts and prayers even if a short comment. Your journaling will be a record of your interaction with the God in these 31 days.
I. Read Psalm 23.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth 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 thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth 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 for ever. (KJV)
Introduction – Psalm 23 is a beautiful poem which expresses the care of the Lord for his people with the well-known Shepherd/sheep relationship. It is a Psalm of David and calls to mind a young man who came to know God while tending the flock. Just as David was a good shepherd, nourishing and protecting the flock, so the Lord was The Good Shepherd (1 Samuel 17:34ff). This is one of the most memorable passages in Scripture and has been the comfort of God’s people for over 3000 years. It explains God’s care for us, to lead us, to restore us, to be with us through the darkness, to strengthen with rod and staff, to prepare a table, to anoint us, to cause goodness and mercy to follow us – forever. When God looked on David’s heart, by His grace, David was the kind of believer that placed His trust in Yahweh as Shepherd of His people. This caused David to sing and play psalms of praise to his Lord.
In your own words, respond to the questions.
- What is the most comforting line of this Psalm for you?
- While this Psalm speaks of assurance and blessing, it also indicates a context of adversity or enemies. What are some phrases that show comfort in the midst of trouble?
- This Psalm starts in the pasture, but where does it end? Why so?
- What is your greatest fear? Who do you fear? Who is troubling you? With these fears in mind, take a few moments and meditate on the first five words using this technique: emphasize a different word in the first line: “The Lord is my shepherd.”
- The LORD is my shepherd. That is The one and only Almighty God is the One who cares for me.
- The LORD is my shepherd. He is not a vague deity. He is the Covenant Lord (Yahweh) of Israel revealed in Jesus, a covenant keeping God who has committed Himself to the care and full salvation of His people.
- The LORD is my shepherd. Now He IS ever existent and will always be, at any time I call upon Him.
- The LORD is my shepherd. He is certainly the Almighty God, unlimited in His power to save, but I confess now that He is MY personal Shepherd who cares for me.
- The LORD is my shepherd. Not only is He the Almighty God, but He saves me not as a Tyrant, but as a loving Shepherd. So I can claim boldly, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
- Are you still afraid?
II. Pray Psalm 23. Respond with your heart to God by writing out a prayer to Him based on your key thoughts from Psalm 23.
III. Sing Psalm 23. Worship the Good Shepherd by singing this Psalm 23.
- Listen to or download this setting or view the music (in the Outline) Psalm 23 set to St. Columba (recorded live).
- Psalm 23 (selections) with flute and guitar by Gregg Strawbridge.
- Listen to this very moving version by Keith Green (Youtube).