Psalm 23.1 - The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
King David, who wrote this psalm, is a very endearing person. In this one, that we are going to meditate, there is a very strong poetic wealth and a demonstration of confidence out of the ordinary, let us not forget that we are well before the birth of Jesus. David already demonstrates a great knowledge of his God and this knowledge can only be received in intimacy with Him ... Is the Lord the one who leads me? The promise that follows: I will not miss anything is directly conditioned by the answer to this question: Who runs my life? It goes far beyond the notion of simply believing in God. The Shepherd becomes the Master, the Guide, the One to whom the sheep happily submits, a complete surrender, as another Psalm says: Put your life to the Lord, rely on Him, and He will do what is necessary (Psalm 37: 5). At the wheel of the car of your life, there can not be two drivers, it's you or it's the Lord. He's not going to tear the wheel out of your hands, He's waiting for you to decide to give it to Him freely. When you have made this choice, He is faithful to his promise and you lack nothing, that is to say that you have what you need, not the futile but the necessary, materially but also emotionally. The feeling of lack causes anxiety, insecurity and dissatisfaction. Many people made bad choices, with heavy consequences, because they were racked by lack. By accepting that the Lord becomes the Shepherd of your life, you get the promise that He will fill the emptiness of lack with grace, love, and presence.
Psalm 23: 2 - He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
Close your eyes and imagine the scene. You are lying in a meadow, the grass is at height, fresh and green, a little further flows a small river, the sound of the water is soothing and you know that it quenches the greatest thirsts. You are happy, peaceful, satisfied, secure because your Shepherd ensures that nothing comes to disturb your peace. In the tumult of the world in which we live, it is difficult to be in this state of mind. Stress, productivity and profitability push us into a frantic race against the passing of time and finally leave us disillusioned by the side of the road. Our good Shepherd invites us to enter the atmosphere of eternity, to stop this race to taste his presence. Spending time with Him is like eating fresh grass, full of flavor and aroma, a real treat for the sheep's palate. To be with Him is also to stand near the river, it is at hand: We can recharge our batteries, wash ourselves there, refresh ourselves there so much its water is clear, pure and clear. Let's do it, before leaving the house and entering the arena of everyday life, let's spend this minute of eternity with our Lord. Let us welcome the peace of his Spirit into our soul and let his life overflow into our hearts.
Psalm 23: 3 - He refreshes and restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The Hebrew text, the language in which our psalm was written, is very rich and the same word contains several ideas. Good Shepherd revives my strength but another version says:He restores my soul. David expresses here the center of the personality, the deepest of the heart, the intimate being that ultimately only God knows perfectly. Rarely, never to say, we show this intimate being and build our mask-to-mask relationships. We know very well that we are fragile and that to open this place of our heart is to put ourselves in danger.Yet, and this is tragic, we all want to be discovered in this aspect to be finally free but the fear of rejection, mockery or trample that since our early childhood, we decided to do good Fig. I do not know if a human being could assume this discovery of our inner being but what is certain is that the Lord of glory can. Not only He can but already He reads in us as in an open book. When He comes to our "secret garden", He restores us, He revives our strength, He makes us a balanced person in his emotions. Because He is God and He honors His name, He leads us step by step on the path of deliverance and freedom. Finally we know who we are through the look of the Good Shepherd, his truth about our lives is the only thing that is real. Neither the look of others nor what I think they think of me will help me to free myself! Only my Shepherd can bring me into the full liberating light.
Psalm 23: 4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort andconsole me.
Being guided by the Good Shepherd sometimes requires courage and full confidence in Him. Two paragraphs above we spoke of green pastures and peaceful waters, now we speak of a valley filled with darkness and death. It represents the daily dangers we face.There are moments in our lives where everything shifts, fear takes hold of us, anguish grips us, we are caught in the void and we become aware of all the wickedness of the world of darkness. It is here that our trust in Jesus will be salutary. David shouts loudly: I fear no harm! No harm ! Lord You are with me, no harm! Your rod leads me through this valley, no harm! You have your staff to beat those who would harm me, You the Eternal God, You protect me: I FEAR NO EVIL! The question is: Do we have this confidence? Am I complaining, Lord, why did you bring me here? Or am I ready to accept the challenge knowing that after this crossing, I will be stronger spiritually, more firmly, closer to the heart of the Shepherd? Life with the Lord is not a long calm river, it is a thrilling adventure. Whatever the difficulties, our destiny is to be "more than a winner" but never forget that it is WITH our Good Shepherd.
Psalm 23.5 - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
What richness in these sentences! How many children of God throughout the ages have been encouraged, comforted and blessed to read this song. Ah! I did not tell you? A psalm is a song of praise. David here explains three images of what the Lord is preparing for us his children. The first tells us about the banquet He will organize with all his children. All the enemies of the Lord, who are our enemies, will see this wonderful blessing and they will grind their teeth without ever being able to reach us.
The Lord anoints us with his oil ... Do you know that a shepherd puts oil on the heads of his sheep in order to keep away the insects and various parasites from them? In the same way, the Lord anointed our head with oil in order to remove from us all the evil that would reach our thoughts and thus avoid anything that could parasitize our life and relationship with God.
He also gives us his Spirit, his presence flows on us and fills us. The Lord fills our cup with his grace. The cup of bitterness was drunk by Jesus on the cross, He bore our pains and our sufferings and He offers us today the grace, that is to say a complete pardon, a life overflowing with his love and his compassion. It may be hard for you right now ... look to the sky ... do you see the table prepared for you? Do you see the Lord pouring on you his anointing? Do you see the cup of blessings and grace He gives you? Take courage, these things are real!
Psalm 23.6 - Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever in the houseand in the presence of the Lord.
David was the second king in Israel, he existed about ten centuries before Christ and already he was aware of profound things about life with God and eternity. He affirms his eternal destiny, he confesses his faith in the providence of the Lord. Because he has a close relationship with the Good Shepherd, he knows that happiness will accompany him.How many of us have this conviction: Happiness will accompany me? Unfortunately, rather than thinking of happiness, we are too often busy struggling with the challenges of life and looking for solutions to our problems or we are the ones who give up. It's time to remember which shepherd we follow, who do we trust? Every day of my life, says David, I will go forward and happiness and grace will be with me. He continues on his way to the house of the Father who is beyond life on this earth. House that we will never leave, house full of God's love and power of life. Only hope and trust can give us this assurance. Many of our worries would fall if we were aware of who we are with the Lord and where we are going. The devil makes us doubt that God wants our good and he draws us a little at a time out of the flock to hurt us. Return to your shepherd again today, take the road back to the Father's house and happiness will accompany you.
John 10.10 and 11: ... I (Jesus) came so that the sheep have life, and that they are in abundance. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.