1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] 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 overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
If there ever was a Psalm for our age, Psalm 23 is it. Our age which is time poor, non-stop productive, 24hr internet connected, 7-day-a-week worked and continuously busy. Psalm 23 is a baulk ward counter-point to these modern themes – a mantra for rest and nourishment in God’s presence. Stop and be reminded of the cosmic Shepherd. Be safe in the knowledge of God’s hedge around you.
The striking feature of this Psalm’s two large metaphors – the good shepherd and the banquet in God’s house – allows Jesus to rise easily through it, enlarging David’s song beyond simply nice spiritual poetry to the the largess of total Biblical significance. This picture of the Shepherd and the banquet needs to resonant in our bones, echo in every passage of scripture we read, instill us with quiet confidence in every circumstance – made real to us by Jesus.
Thank you good shepherd for your guidance and comfort, your rest and your provision. Thank you good Lord for a reserved place at your table. Thank you Jesus, amen.
Written by Sam Stewart