By Liz West
Psalm 23 is one of the most well known chapters in the Bible. Many have used these verses as a source of comfort for over 3000 years. This Psalm is attributed to King David, possibly when his son was plotting to murder him. Whether going through hardships, or facing death, Psalm 23 continues to bring hope to thousands of people.
This psalm was one of the first chapters of the Bible I learnt as a child using the King James Version, which in itself is very poetic. I have heard it many times spoken at funerals and read many messages and devotions over the years.
Last year while reading the chapter I wondered if I really believed the Lord was my Shepherd as King David had written. It was at a real low point in my life, when everything was falling apart, and I was really struggling with my mental health.
I am your Good Shepherd
You have all you need
I make you lie down in green pastures
I lead you beside quiet waters
I renew your strength
I lead you in the paths of righteousness for my name’s sake
Even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Do not fear any evil for I am with you
My rod and my staff will comfort you
I prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies
I anoint your head with oil and your cup overflows
Surely my goodness and my mercy shall follow you all the days of your life
And you will dwell in my house with me forever.
Wow, just a slight change from David recalling what he knew to be true, to God showing me what He is doing for me and in my life gave me the comfort I needed at the time.
God is my Shepherd, so that makes me one of his sheep.
I have all I need, because the Shepherd have given it to me
God makes me lie down in green pastures because He knows where I need to be fed
He leads me besides quiet waters away from the constant noise inside my head and outside in the world
He renews my strength when I don’t have any left of my own
He leads me in His paths of righteousness - if I am willing to go with Him - so that His name is honoured
Even in the shadow of the valley of death He promises to be with me and comfort me
He watches over me when I am in the midst of my enemies
God makes my cup overflow
He has a place for me with Him where I will be forever.
Pondering on these thoughts and committing them to memory helps us when we go through life, through the good and the bad. King David knew His Shepherd and we can know Him too.
Reading Psalm 23 in a different light was a great encouragement to me. My prayer is that it may be for you too.
Liz West attends Bracken Ridge Baptist Church. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and loves sharing her story of God’s goodness with other women. She loves reading, walking and is a puzzle queen.