“The Lord is my shepherd.” God chose David to be the king of Israel, but David knew that he needed God to be his shepherd. The Lord would lead David to places of provision. He protected the king and restored David’s soul in situations of great distress. God also helped David in his desire to live a holy life.
David lived in a world under the sentence of death. He was continually in danger of dying and he regularly mourned the loss of others who had already been taken away by disease or warfare. God’s leadership and companionship through this valley of human mortality was of great aid to the king. Like a good shepherd, the Lord used His rod of correction upon David when necessary. The king learned to appreciate the shepherd’s staff.
God’s plans for His beloved sheep have always been very good. David meditated upon this and wrote these comforting words for all of the Lord’s people to sing. Yes they had enemies, but the Lord would make His beloved people prosper in the midst of these adversaries. Israel would not merely squeak by. Their cups would overflow.
Even more than the provision of the Lord in this present life, David knew that the Almighty would provide for him and for the nation beyond their mortal days. David would dwell in the house of the Lord forever. These blessings would flow forth from the goodness and mercy of David’s divine shepherd.
Those who have loved the Bible have taken much comfort from Psalm 23 for many centuries. Even before the coming of the Messiah, this text was frequently read as faithful men and women marked the loss of loved ones. But these wonderful words have taken on new meaning for those who follow the Lord today. Jesus has identified Himself as our good shepherd. He gave His life for His sheep. His cross has displayed to us the fullness of divine goodness and mercy. Because of the faithfulness of the Son of David, we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Shepherd of Israel, You lead us and provide for us. Though death is near, You are nearer still. We trust You, for You fill us with Your Spirit. You have secured for us an eternal home in Your great house.