TLIC Psalms. February 10. My Shepherd.

Read Psalm 23:1-6. 1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This most beloved of psalms is both simple and profound. It demonstrates an understanding of life’s great complexity – both green pasture and dark valley, and life’s great reward – dwelling with the Lord forever. This may also be the most intimate of psalms so far, stressing the psalmist relationship with Yahweh as his personal shepherd guiding him in the right paths and his loyal friend celebrating his victory at his table feast.  

When we seek to find Christ in the psalms we can do it in two ways. First, Jesus is our divine Good Shepherd. He is Yahweh, the Lord. Jesus is always with us each day, resting us, restoring us, leading us, comforting us. Jesus is with us forever celebrating our shared victory at his friendship table in his eternal home full of mercy and goodness.

But we can also put psalm 23 on the lips of Jesus the man, and therefore on our lips as well. Jesus’ own experience of Yahweh the Shepherd lead him from stilled waters to the darkest of valleys – the path to the cross. But Jesus’ Shepherd-God would not leave him in the dark valley of death. Rather the accession feast awaited him. Returned to the presence of the Father would be his resting place forever.

Are you regularly having a psalm 23 experience like David did? Like Jesus did? Is Jesus also your Good Shepherd? The one you follow? The one who comforts and satisfies you? Is he your friend at the feast of life?

To live is Christ makes Jesus our shepherd and our friend. Our guide on the journey and our dwelling forever.

Prayer. Jesus, with you I shall not want. Help me to feast on the green pastures and still waters of your love every day, and bring me home to live with you forever. Amen.


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