The LORD Is My Shepherd - Part II
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, 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. You prepare a table before Me in the presence of mine enemies: You anoint My head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow Me all the days of My life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” —Psalm 23
As we stated last month, Psalm 23 could quite possibly represent the greatest height of inspiration ever given to frail, mortal man. This psalm shows us that the Lord has already provided all that we need.
Yea, Though I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death, I Will Fear No Evil
This passage plainly tells us that we are going to go through hard times. This phrase refers to the powers of darkness that war against the child of God. Though it says we will walk through the valley, that doesn’t mean we buy property in the valley, build a house, and stay there. Walk through it, don’t stay there, and don’t get caught up on your problem—keep your eyes on the Lord. He will guide you through the valley.
I Will Fear No Evil
There is never a reason for the child of God to fear—fear to the point of one’s life being ruled by fear—which is one of Satan’s greatest tactics.
We don’t fear because no matter what Satan says or does we are not alone, our heavenly Shepherd is with us. The Lord didn’t die on Calvary and save your soul for Him to leave you stranded in the valley of death.
Your Rod And Your Staff They Comfort Me
Every shepherd carries a rod and a staff. Actually, it was one instrument with multiple uses. The staff (the curved crook at the top) is used to retrieve us when we are in serious danger. Likewise, He uses the rod (club part) to beat back the demon powers of darkness.
You Prepare A Table Before Me In The Presence Of My Enemies
The table speaks of a bountiful supply of blessing available to every child of God. We can be blessed by our heavenly Shepherd in the midst of Satan’s presence.
You Anoint My Head With Oil
Anointing the head with oil refers to the fact that the believer’s entire life can be full to overflowing with God’s blessings. It also speaks of the Holy Spirit in this regard. When eating, sheep oftentimes scrape their foreheads on rocks. Every night the shepherd would inspect the foreheads of the sheep. On those that had scrapped skin, he applied oil—a type of the Holy Spirit—and poured it on the cut so it would heal quickly.
My Cup Runneth Over
This phrase is an expressive metaphor indicative of a state of bliss rarely experienced in this life. This bliss refers to great joy and perfect happiness.
Surely Goodness And Mercy Shall Follow Me All The Days Of My Life
This is what the Lord desires to do for all His children. As goodness and mercy are shown to us by the Lord, we are to show goodness and mercy to others as well. Also, the Lord’s goodness and mercy is constant, it never stops unless we cause it to stop by our actions.
The words goodness and mercy cannot be separated but are to be taken together. Goodness is the stream; mercy is the fountain. Goodness is the open hand of God’s bounty; mercy is His loving heart.
Goodness reminds us that our nature is a bundle of want. Mercy reminds us that our deepest and highest need can only be satisfied—not by all of God’s gifts—but only by Him.
I Will Dwell In The House Of The Lord Forever
This phrase carries with it the idea of eternal life.
David was speaking of the temple because that is all that he then knew. However, the short phrase, “house of the Lord,” has an altogether different meaning now and all because of Calvary.
Under the new covenant, all believers are looked at by the Lord as His house (I Cor. 3:16). Therefore, if we want to dwell in His house forever, then He will dwell in our house forever.
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