As a young boy, walking alone through dark alleys in my neighborhood, I remember how Psalm 23 served as my companion. As I recite this psalm, I would feel a surge of courage. The type you have when you have an adult holding your hands through those unlighted alleys.
The words of God indeed come alive when spoken by his children.
Somehow this psalm stuck! Even today, when I find myself in unfamiliar or harsh terrains, I am quick to ascertain that the Lord is my shepherd. In my post today, I will love to share 8 verses that put Psalm 23 into perspectives.
The Lord is your shepherd. He knows you. Psalm 23: 1
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10 vs 27
This speaks of a relationship between the sheep (put your name here) and the shepherd (the Lord). It is a two-way relationship, a romance and not a crush. God knows you and you know God. When you call him, he doesn’t put you on hold to answer another first.
Wherever you are, and in whatever condition you are: He hears you. He sees you. He loves you. He knows your name. You belong to him and He is yours.
You are not just 1 of the 100, but you are the 1 in the 100. You cannot be replaced by any of the 3 billion in His fold. You are a limited edition.
Under His Leadership, you will not want anything good.
Psalm 23: 1
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. John 10: 11
Christ gave his life for you, so what can he possibly withhold from you? He alone can satisfy. For some, the grass is always greener on the other side. But under the good shepherd’s leadership, his sheep are satisfied in Him.
As a sheep in the good shepherd’s fold, recognizing the relationship you share with God the creator of the universe; the owner of all green pastures, will open your eyes to the truth that you will not want what you need to thrive under his leadership.
God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
God feeds the cattle on a thousand hills.
God protects the cattle on a thousand hills.
He will lead you where the grasses are green. Psalm 23: 2
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father. James 1: 17
I grew up in the country side in Africa. I see as shepherds lead out their flock out in search of food. They know where the grasses are green and there they lead the flock. Sometimes, the way to green grasses makes no sense or can be dangerous. God will always lead you into abundance even though the way makes no sense to you. God brings you to places that he knows are good for your nourishment and rest.
He will lead you through life’s dark valley. Psalm 23: 4
Psalm 23: 4 And David said to Saul, Your servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. 1 Samuel 17: 34
The best place to seek adventure is not in the ‘valley of the shadow of death’. The best place for any sheep to be on earth is obviously not in a Lion’s month. But sometimes, life’s adventure with the good shepherd may take you through dark valleys.
We often praise David for his heroics here. But the unsung hero is the sheep. It held on long enough till the shepherd was able to pull up a rescue plan. There is no hope in the lion’s mouth. However, this sheep hoped against hope. He trusted the shepherd, the one that led it to the still waters and rescued it from the bear. He knew his shepherd will come to get him.
Even though fading, the sheep feared nothing.
God isn’t just with you in life’s dark valley; He leads you through life’s dark valley. His presence in life’s darkest valley assures you that no evil will befall you.
He lets you catch your breath & sends you in the right direction. Psalm 23: 3
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11: 28
Life gets busy. You have been there. I have too. You have had too much on your plate, and you already feel overwhelmed. The mountain ahead of you seems insurmountable. More so, nothing works. But God promises rest.
When the adventure with the shepherd gets intense, the shepherd lets you catch your breath. Even though He nudges you to keep up pace with him, he gives you rest when you are in need. He forgives your missteps. He carries you on eagle’s wings when you are tired and feel lost. He renews your strength and sends you in the right way.
…He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart… (Isa 40: 11)
Sometimes all that matters to a sheep is to be carried in its shepherd’s arms. Only in him will we find rest for our souls. So like Mary, and unlike Martha, find some rest at the shepherd’s feet.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23: 4
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light… Exodus 13: 21
I have seen firsthand how fierce a shepherd can be when he leads his flock out. The only thing on his mind is to spot and eliminate threats to the safety of his sheep. With his rod, he would take out any threat. When God leads you out, it doesn’t matter how uncertain the times are, neither does it matter whether you surrounded by friends or foes. You will have comfort in the fact the good shepherd goes ahead of you.
He prepares a table & lets you feast in the presence of your enemies. Psalm 23: 5
He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Songs of Solomon 2:4
What show of love? What display of affection? What statement of ownership? What sense of security? That your shepherd prepares a table and lets you feast in the presence of your enemies?
A great shepherd fends off the wolves while the sheep eat. But the good shepherd feeds the sheep in the presence of the wolves, and the wolves can’t do anything!
In life, your shepherd does not guarantee the absence of problems. But in the midst of pains, trials, temptations and troubles, He guarantees a table of provision, a banquet of love and a dinner of hope.
He will feed you till your cup runs over. If you are in trouble today, call out to your shepherd and let him show you the hope and provision he has set before you.
His beauty and love chase after you every day of your life. Psalm 23: 6
As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. Psalm 17:15
Where you go, He goes. God’s love does not neglect you. When you wake up in the morning, you will look into his likeness.