Tuesday, January 23, 2024

David’s Prayer – Psalm 23

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

David’s Prayer – Psalm 23 Submitted by Kay Crumley


Most of us know or have heard these verses many times. Perhaps you, like me, memorized it in your youth. For me, these familiar verses, while are comforting, may become so common we don’t really hear what they say. That is why I have chosen to include the passage from The Message. The MSG Bible is a paraphrasing translation written into conversational English. It is not a word-by-word translation. However, it is an easily understood ‘reading’ Bible.   


King David, who is the author of this Psalm, had been a shepherd as a child and knew intimately the duties of a shepherd. When God led Samuel to David to declare him the next King of Israel, 1 Samuel 16, David had to be brought in from the fields where he was tending his father’s sheep. Sheep are not the most intelligent of animals. They are totally incapable of defending themselves from enemies, they are easily led off the right path. The shepherd must be ever vigilant, constantly checking for parasites or injuries buried in their wool and directing them along the right path. They are easily spooked by unfamiliar noises and will run away into even greater danger. Remember, we are compared to sheep in scripture many times. Isaiah 53:6 explains that we have gone off the path of righteousness that our Lord had for us so that Jesus would be required to bear all our sins.  


What does a good shepherd do for his flock? Keep in mind that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, John 10:11. 


1-3 God, my shepherd! 
    I don’t need a thing. 
You have bedded me down in lush meadows, 
    you find me quiet pools to drink from. 
True to your word, 
    you let me catch my breath 
    and send me in the right direction. 

The first three verses declare that the Good Shepherd, God, provides all our daily needs leaving us wanting for nothing. The sheep have a meadow full of grass where they can eat all they want and then rest in safety. There is still water, sheep are afraid to drink from water that is flowing, for them to drink from. And they are put on a path going the right direction. He has given them rest, refreshment, and restoration. He has set them on a save, righteous, path so they are not wandering aimlessly. God meets our spiritual needs.  


4 Even when the way goes through 
    Death Valley, 
I’m not afraid 
    when you walk at my side. 
Your trusty shepherd’s crook 
    makes me feel secure. 

God meets our emotional needs in verse 4. Even in the most desolate, forbidden life circumstances we find ourselves in, He is right there by our side. He will not forsake us, abandon us ever, especially in the dark times. He carries both a rod to beat off wild animals and a staff, shepherd’s crook, to guide the sheep back from harm. We have no need to fear because He has both power and grace for every need. 


5 You serve me a six-course dinner 
    right in front of my enemies. 
You revive my drooping head; 
    my cup brims with blessing. 

Try to imagine your most fearful situation with enemies on every side. Then focus on God’s provision as He sets a table with a full meal in front of you. He will bring soothing oil to anoint your head, though it is drooping in fear and exhaustion. It is then that you realize your cup is not only full but is running over as He provides all our physical needs.   


6 Your beauty and love chase after me 
    every day of my life. 
I’m back home in the house ofGod 
    for the rest of my life. 

He chases after us, hunts us down when we’re lost, Luke 15:3-7. The Good Shepherd left the herd of 99 sheep to search for the one that was lost. When that sheep was found, he returned, carrying it on his shoulders, rejoicing. God desires that all His sheep are safe within the sheep pin. It is with that faithful love that He chases after us, His sheep. His goodness and faithfulness will bring us back to be forever at rest with Him. He provides for our eternity. 


God provides for our needs spiritually, emotionally, physically, and eternally though His Son, Jesus. We have the assurance that He will never leave us without His protection. Our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, Hebrews 13:20, so that we can be pleasing in God’s sight through His sacrifice for our sin. He knows His sheep and they know Him, John 10:14. He welcomes His sheep because they have been redeemed by Him, John 3:16 

Devotional Archive