Psalm 23:1-6 (ESV)
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Probably the most well known passage of Scripture is this psalm. Everyone knows it. You can find it in bookstores on pictures, usually with an artists rendition of what the Lord may look like, in a pasture with sheep all around Him.
Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd, and that He would not lose even one that the Father had given Him, except the son of perdition–Judas who betrayed Him. But Judas was known by God and God knew that he would betray Jesus long before Jesus even called him to be a disciple. So really, Jesus did not lose him, he was already lost. But I digress.
Psalm 23 shows us the characteristics of the Good Shepherd from the perspective of the sheep. We are all sheep, and the Lord really does care for us. If we are His, He cares for us. Not all of us belong to Him, however. We must choose to belong to Him. We must admit that we are sinners, and that we need a savior. Then, if we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Redeemer, we are His.
We all need time occasionally to rest in green pastures and drink from cool, calm waters. But this is not our daily lives. We live in a tumultuous world. This world threatens our peace, our sanity.
By reading and meditating on this psalm, we find the peace we need to get through the evil in which we are mired. Let the Lord bring us peace and comfort, because the world is certainly not going to bring it. The ways and worries of this life, try to steal our peace, but you and I can rest in Our Shepherd’s care.
by Virgil Stripes