Psalms – Songs for every season.
Part 1 Psalm 23
Psalm 23 is probably one of the most well-known Psalm but also one of the most misunderstood, as it’s not a Psalm about death. But to look at Psalm 23 we have to first look at Psalm 22, which is about Jesus. They fit together and we can only sing about Jesus being our good shepherd because of Jesus dying on the cross for us.
Two points we can take from Psalm 23
- Jesus guides us and provides for us
- The ground in Palestine where David was a shepherd was rough, it was desert and a barren land and the shepherd would lead his sheep to green pastures.
- Life is not all green pastures, it’s tough and like walking through the wilderness, but if Jesus is your good shepherd he’ll guide you and provide for you, leading you to green pasture after green pasture, there will be tough times but Jesus will lead you if you let him.
- Jesus protects us
- Life can not only be difficult but it can also be scary, as we read in verse 4. In the valley sheep could often be picked off by robbers or wild animals but it was the only way the shepherd could go, to get to the green pasture.
- The shepherd’s rod was a weapon to protect the sheep from wild animals and the shepherd’s staff had a hook at the top and was used to hook sheep from falling down a ravine or gently leading the sheep away from the wrong path. And in the same way Jesus will protect us, we don’t have to fear the valley because Jesus has already passed through it and defeated fear and death.
- We can know God’s peace in this difficult time because his rod and staff comfort us.
This Psalm is for when life is tough and there are difficulties, it reminds us that Jesus the good shepherd guides and protects us in every experience that we go through.
In verse 4 it changes from He ‘He guides me…’ ‘He makes me lie down…’ to ‘for you are with me…’, it becomes personal. Knowledge alone won’t get us through difficult times, but a personal relationship with Jesus will get you through the valley.
Question 1. Do you know the good shepherd Jesus? If not you can know him today.
Question 2. Will you let Jesus the good shepherd help you to live your life to the fullest? He wants to guide you through the wilderness of life, to restore your soul. Will you be let him lead you to the places that he has for you, will you allow him to provide and protect you?
This week let’s use Psalm 23 to sing of the good shepherd, whether life is good right now or you’re in a wilderness.