Do you wake up feeling sad, fearful or agitated? Perhaps you are unable to face a new day because you have been through a rough time. Maybe you are anxious about the uncertainties of our times. If any of these fit you, I recommend the 23rd Psalm. It is truly my go-to scripture. It will calm those anxieties, fears, sadness and the inability to face a new day.
I memorized Psalm 23, along with the Lord’s Prayer when I was a child. I was not saved at the time, but unlike today, children said the Psalm 23 in their classrooms at school. The 23rd Psalm was also a part of the lessons at Sunday school and at Vacation Bible School. Even as a child, the 23rd Psalm made me feel protected, warm, and safe. Psalm 23 has remained a part of my life, particularly, when I have been distressed; I can feel the Lord holding me in his arms. In fact, there are days when I awake literally saying the 23rd Psalm. The verses generally permeate my soul multiple times each day. Although the NIV, and sometimes, the AMP, are my go-to Bible translations, the King James Version is the version I memorized when I was a child. It has been my go-to-translation throughout my life.
Each verse has so much meaning for me and has brought me so much comfort.
A Psalm of David (KJV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall no want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pasture
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
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
This Psalm may have been composed while David attended his father’s flock; however most historians believe he wrote it as an old man. He recalled his time as a shepherd and compared watching over his flock with the way our Lord watches over us. being a shepherd was a well-know occupation in ancient times. The flock could depend on the shepherd to keep them safe from all harm. We are sheep of our Lords’ flock and we are always protected, even when danger lurks around the corner. Halley’s Bible Handbook notes that this Shepherd Field was the very same place where 1000 years later, the Angel Choir announced the Birth of Jesus.
Breaking down the verses of Psalm 23 helps us to get a better understanding of God as our Shepherd, starting with verse 1.