I can’t help but think that many, if not most of you have read the 23rd Psalm at some point in your life. You may even have it memorized. It’s arguably the most quoted, referenced, and known passage in Scripture. I love the 23rd Psalm. I’ve read it more times than I could ever count, and over the years, I have become so familiar with its words.
“The Lord is my shepherd…” Can you finish that sentence?
With familiarity and repetition, has its impact faded or its words lost their luster?
“I’ve run in church circles for most of my life. I’ve heard all the talk. I’ve sang all the songs. I’ve memorized all the go-to passages. I know the drill.”
Anybody? It’s a slippery slope, really, and if we’re not careful, we make God’s grace and love less than commonplace when they are no less than miraculous and extraordinary.
So how do we avoid this numbing of our spiritual senses? I would suggest that all it takes is a deeper look, a slowing down, a pondering of the truths packed within the few short verses of this age-old song.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” – If you believe this to be true, then you’ll truly know contentment.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” – If you believe this to be true, then you’ll truly know rest.
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” – If you believe this to be true, then you’ll truly know and experience His guidance in your life.
“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.” – If you believe this to be true, then you’ll know His protection.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” If you believe this to be true, then you’ll truly know joy – the overflow of the obedient life.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” – And finally, you’ll know and live in His favor.
This is why Psalm 23, the entire counsel of God’s Word, and community with His people never gets old to me.