How many times have you read Psalm 23? For me, it is probably several dozen, if not more than one hundred. Until recently I read it with a selfish focus. When I read Psalm 23, I saw the promise of peace, restoration, and protection. While it speaks to these subjects, none of them are THE subject.
The Shepherd has taken us on quite a journey. We have lain in green pastures, drank from still water, walked righteous paths, and gone through the valley of the shadow of death. He has fed us, bound our wounds, and overfilled our cups. Now He wants to leave us with a promise to hold onto as we continue on our journey.
If we are not careful, one of the most frustrating things about being a Christian is trying to know what God's will is for our lives. We know in times past He spoke to Israel with moving clouds, called Samuel by name, made Gideon's fleece wet, and sent His angles to talk. We may sometimes wish for direction just as clear as that, and not realize that we have something better.
It was a desperate situation for the captain. He had traveled a long way looking for the answers to the question about his soul. He was no longer satisfied to travel the dark seas, and had heard that there was a place filled with light. He had only to find a lighthouse to guide him on his way. Before the captain - in the darkness - stood a grand lighthouse.
In my opinion one of the most misunderstood passages of the twenty-third Psalm is verse 2: “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” As you read this passage, you might imagine herds of sheep eating on the green hillside and drinking in a nearby babbling brook. What made me stop and consider was the thought that the Shepherd had to make the sheep lie down in green pastures.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” This first verse contains a wonderful blessing for the child of God. This verse establishes both our position, and our possession. The little word “my” sets the tone for the whole chapter. This is a personal Psalm, and it has many applications for our Christian life.