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 learned and said the 23rd Psalm at school. The 23rd Psalm was also a part of Sunday school lessons and Vacation Bible School classes. The 23rd Psalm made me feel protected, warm, and safe, even as an unsaved child. The 23rd Psalm has remained a part of my life, particularly, when I have been distressed. During those times, 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 study translations, the King James Version is the one that I memorized as a child. So, I repeat the King James Version when I say it.
Each spoken word of that precious Psalm contains much contextual meaning and great comfort in my life.
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 depended on the shepherd and the shepherd kept them safe from all harm. We are sheep of our Lord’s pasture land 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.
Be blessed and enjoy my personal reflection of Psalm 23.
Spiritual References for Meditation:
Psalm 95:7 — for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear His voice, . . .
Psalm 79:13 — So we your people and the sheep of your pasture will give thanks to You forever; to all generations we will tell of your praise.
Psalm 100:3 — Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.