Psalm 23

Hello, my friend.  It’s so stimulating, as we read through the Psalms, to see how they capture so many aspects of one’s life.  In fact, I often feel that they cover them all. Some have been set to music, some have been engraved in stone, some have been memorized for future needs, some have been rephrased so they rhyme metrically, and all have been pondered and treasured over the years.

Today we come to the one Psalm which is perhaps the best known and most frequently quoted of all 150.  This is PSALM 23.  How can we give it justice in just a couple of minutes.  But there are some things about it, perhaps, that some may not have noticed, and it is that which I want to look at today.  You may have noticed that the Lord provides (vs.1), peace and leads me beside still waters, always restoring me (vs.2) and that He guides me.  But why does He do all this?  You see it in vs. 3, “for His Name’s Sake.”   And I find it really necessary to stress this great truth, which we all saw back in I Kings 8.  In vs. 17 we hear Solomon say, “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the name of the Lord.”  And eight times in I Kings chapter 8 we read that the temple was to be built for the Name of the Lord.   So we can see how important this is as we study the Old Testament, encountering many names for the Lord.

As you look at Psalm 23 you will see how remarkably it reflects the names of the Lord.  Jehovah-Jireh means “the Lord provides.”  And Psalm 23 vs. 1 says, since the Lord is my shepherd, “I shall not be in want.”  Jehovah-Shalom means “the Lord is my peace” and vs. 2 says “He makes me lie down in green pastures, leads me beside still waters.”  Jehovah-Rapha means, “the Lord is my healer”, and vs. 3 says “He restores my soul.”  Jehovah-Tsidkenu means “the Lord is my righteousness” and vs. 3 says “He guides me in paths of righteousness.”  Jehovah-Shammah means “the Lord is here” and vs. 4 of Psalm 23, shifting from referring to the Lord as ‘He’, begins referring to Him as ‘you’.  In other words, it is often in the time of sorrow or darkness that we sense the Lord is with us.   Jehovah-Nissi means “the Lord is my banner”, and vs. 5 says, “You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows”.  Like a flag waving in the wind, so my overflowing cup declares to the world the fullness of the Lord in my life.

There are three phrases in Ps.23 which I have marked in my Bible, and linked them together.  They are “The Lord…”(vs.1),  is “with me”(vs.4)  “forever”(vs.6).

Because of what the Lord accomplished on the Cross, giving His life for us, as we saw yesterday in Psalm 22, so we can enter into the fullness of what the Lord is doing at the present time in all of our lives, and doing it “for His Name’s sake.”  It is wonderful to know that He finds joy as we serve and love Him. 

“Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of looking intently at this great Psalm and finding that even as you are the heart of it, so you are the heart of our lives.  We love and praise you and thank you forever.  Bless my friend, and we pray especially for anyone in special need at this moment.” 

Thank you, partner, for being along.  Cheerio!

Psalm 23

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