The Lord Is My Shepherd
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 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 runneth over. 6 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. Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV)
It’s probably the most well-known and beloved passages of scripture: the Shepherd’s Psalm; Psalm 23. Let’s break it down verse by verse and feed on its timeless message.
Verse 1: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He meets all of my needs and fulfills my desires. He is the Source of life and every good thing comes down from the Father. I don’t have to worry about my bills being paid or the being fridge stocked with food. He’s got me covered according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Because I have made the Lord my Shepherd, Leader, and Guide, I will lack no good thing.
Verse 2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Just as a shepherd makes sure the sheep have green pastures for grazing and still waters for safe drinking, the Lord makes sure to lead me where the provision is. And because I have what I need, I can lie down and rest. No stress.
Verse 3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. My soul has been restored- my mind, will and emotions have been refreshed and renewed in His presence. I am at peace with Him. I am made right with the Father in the matchless Name of Jesus. I now walk in God’s ways instead of my own, and He is glorified. There’s no better feeling than being in right relationship with God.
Verse 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. This does not tell me that I will not go through troubling times; instead it tells me that I do not have to fear when trouble comes. And it says that I am to walk THROUGH the valley, not camp out in the middle of the valley. I once heard a preacher say that you’ve got to go through your go-through. We’ve all got things to go through and we can go through without fear- all the way to victory. The rod and staff of the shepherd were tools of direction and correction. As I walk with the Lord, He will direct me and correct me with His Word- and that is very comforting. He never leaves me or forsakes me.
Verse 5: Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Regardless of the circumstances around me, whether it be the economy, political climate, or what have you, my God always brings me to the top. I sit at the King’s table, even while the enemy looks on. He anoints me with healing salve and makes sure that I have everything I need for good health. I am anointed and empowered by Him. I have everything I could ask for and more!
Verse 6: 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. Everywhere I go, the lovingkindness and tender mercies of the Lord are pursuing me. I cannot outrun them and I don’t want to. God is always so good to me, and He has made a way for me to be with Him forever and ever. Hallelujah!
I trust that this has ministered to you today. The Twenty-Third Psalm was one of the first passages of the Bible that I memorized. I actually committed it to memory before I was even saved. At times of great distress, I used to lie in bed and quote it, and I could sense the peace of God come on the scene. And now that I have been following the Lord for many years, it means more to me than ever. Breaking the bread of the Word by looking at each verse is just one way of studying the Bible. I encourage you to find a passage that speaks to you and do the same today.