Provocative Devotion: Psalm 23

There i certainly no more beloved and quoted Psalm than the 23rd Psalm. It is nearly a standard reading in almost every funeral or memorial service I have conducted, most often at the request of the family. The comfort derived from the description of the Good Shepherd has been a hallmark of this Psalm for 3,000 years.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
    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 my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord

Jesus was and is the ultimate fulfillment of this Psalm. He claimed the title of Good Shepherd for Himself in John 10:11 when he says, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. He also demonstrated that He is the Good Shepherd in Mark chapter 6 when He directed the 5,000 to sit down on the green grass, reminiscent of the green pastures of Psalm 23. After feeding the 5,000 there was a huge overflow of food, reminiscent of our cup overflowing. Jesus is out Good Shepherd. He is the one who promised to be with us always and never leave nor forsake us. The Lord Jesus is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. All my need are met in Christ. Hallelujah and Amen.

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