The Twenty-third Psalm is so comforting and uplifting. The choir sang the Rutter version a couple Sundays ago. The song pushes forward gently and yet holds back quietly….much like our relationship with God. Click here to watch a video of the performance. I am not sure why this Psalm is so often read at funerals. It is life giving to me. Less about death and more about life. This is how the 23 Psalm speaks to me. The words in green represent the meaning, as I see it.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. God takes care of my EVERY need. I am His and he protects and guides me always. I can DEPEND on God to take care of me.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. My life is prospering because of my God. He gives me calm and peace in all areas of my life.
He restoreth my soul: He restores me on earth and will restore me in heaven.
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. I am righteous through the power of God to whom I belong. The prophecy here was fulfilled in Jesus Christ who purchased my pardon. I can do good works with Him and for him.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: I am not meant for this world. Ultimately, I will be with God in Heaven. There is nothing to fear. Not failure, not sadness, not hurt, not temptation, not hunger, not hurtful words, not gossip, not those you fail me, and not pain because God is with me at every moment.
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Yes, God is always with me. He gives me free will but his Word is a guide for my life. This guide helps me know what is most important and set my priorities, and when I live according to His Word, I am most fulfilled and prosper. In addition, the staff is a protection. God protects me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: The table, for me, speaks of celebration and bounty. Even among enemies (those who wrong me or hurt me or tempt me), I will have the bounty that God has planned for me.
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. I am chosen and sanctified by God. I am His. My life is a fruitful expression of God’s love for ME.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Because I am a child of God, I will have all I need. These things FOLLOW me. I do not have to fight for or chase them. They are mine. God gives them to me out of his love for me. Now that is something amazing.
Today, as many days, I stand in awe of the love of God. I know I disappoint him. I know I am not fulfilling my full potential which God has planned for me. And on those days when life feels oppressive, I think of the 23 Psalm and let the peace of God wash over me.