Is the Lord Your Shepherd?
Psalm 23 is clearly the most beloved and well known psalm in the Bible. It might be the most memorized and known section of the entire Bible. But why? If I think about this in a slightly cynical manner, I might say that it is because of all that it promises to us. It promises that we will lie down in green pastures and beside still waters. It promises that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we won’t fear evil. It promises us a table prepared in the presence of our enemies (sort of a “stick it to you” kind of situation for those we don’t like). Finally, the psalm ends with a promise to have goodness and mercy follow us and to dwell with God forever. Is it because of all that this psalm seems to promise us that we like it so much?
I admit that I like the promises of psalm 23. I think that the idea of me being a sheep and God being a shepherd is comforting. But don’t miss what I think is the most important part of the psalm. The psalm begins with “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”. Without the Lord being your shepherd, the rest of the psalm is null and void for you. The promises made in the psalm are not valid if the first phrase doesn’t apply. Is the Lord your shepherd? Have you asked Jesus to be the controlling influence in your life? Have you surrendered your life to Him? Maybe the reason this psalm is so popular is that it calls each of us to place ourselves under the authority of Jesus and whether we’ve done that or not, that call resonates with each of us. If you have never received Jesus as Savior, message me and we can talk about it. If you have, re-read this psalm with your eyes open to all that your Shepherd promises you.