“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:1–6).
This psalm is perhaps the most quoted one at funerals and is recognized as one of the best-known scriptures. It has a very calming effect when directed at the Christian as a means of support and comfort. As we take a closer look at it, I hope that should you be going through a difficult time that you will take the time to reflect on what it says.
What is a shepherd? It is a person who takes care of sheep. We are the Lord’s sheep, and He takes care of us. A shepherd ensures that his sheep lack for nothing. This is why when we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we shall not want. Does this mean we will not go through hard times? As long as we are in this world, we will face tough times. He is faithful to see us through these times; we just have to keep on trusting Him to get through it.
We will lie down in green pastures. God again will ensure that we will not lack—a green pasture is healthy. A pasture that is brown and dried up is not healthy and will not produce crops. God wants us to thrive and grow in our Christian walk. God through Jesus will restore us back to Him. If you need restoration in your soul, call upon Jesus and He will restore you. Jesus is our leader and our guide through this life here on earth. We elect people to lead us, but they seem to always fail to lead. Jesus will never fail.
The path of righteousness isn’t an easy path in this day and age, with all the evil that we are subjected to. We need to keep holding on to Jesus until we leave this world. If you feel like you are slipping from your path, pray and ask the Lord to help you back onto the path. We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Death will come to all of us unless the Lord comes to take us home in the Rapture.
No one knows when death will occur. If you or your loved ones are not saved when death comes, you will not be with the Lord. We need to be ready when it comes. The Lord walks with us through every valley of life. By holding on to Him, He will see us through to the top of the mountain. This is why we shall fear no evil. God didn’t give us the spirit of fear. Don’t let the devil trap you in his snare of fear.
God comforts us with His rod and staff. A shepherd has a staff. One end of it is a hook that he uses to bring back a sheep that has wondered off. This is the same principal that the Lord uses when we go astray. Jesus is preparing a table in Heaven for His children. We will be seated with Him some glorious day. Our enemies will not be there. Won’t that be wonderful? Our cup will be so full that it will run over with the blessings of God. God wants to bless us more than we can imagine.
When we put our trust in Him, goodness and mercy will follow us all of our lives. One of the greatest things about this psalm is the assurance that we will dwell in His house forever. When we get to Heaven, we will be with the Lord for all eternity. What a great blessing that will be to know that we will be with Him forever.
The only way to have the promises of this psalm is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. I hope that you will take the first step and invite Jesus into your life by asking Him to forgive you of your sins.