Living on Purpose: A Closer Look at Psalm 23 – Harlan Enterprise

By Billy Holland


Psalm 23 is one of the most popular chapters in the Bible and many have said it is one of the wonders of the literary world. It is so profound that scholars are puzzled and yet so simple that children can enjoy it. However, in all its beauty and profound wisdom, we must pray not to lose our reverence for its interpretation. It is easy to allow familiarity to make us cold and indifferent to chapters like this and others like John 3, Romans 8 and 1 Corinthians 13. Being spiritually lukewarm is deceptive and it just means that we are not not on fire and allowed our fervent excitement to become like smoldering embers.

When we get to the place where we start rolling our eyes and saying we’ve heard something a thousand times and think we know everything there is to know about it, then we’ve lost our passion and our love for it. Consider the first verse. “The Lord is my shepherd; I will not. We notice that the passage does not ask if the lord is our shepherd, but rather that he already is. Personally, I see this beautiful Psalm as a confession of faith prayer As minister I have asked many people to say this chapter with me especially at funerals because they are comforting but they are also words that publicly declare that we are his sheep and follow his voice. I wonder how many people have read these words and never thought seriously about what they really mean? It is common for pastors to ask gatherings of people to quote this chapter with them and that includes those who are not Christians, but what about those who claim to be Christians and do not follow Him Let’s look carefully at each word of the first verse.

The first word is “the”. God is not one God or just another God, he is the God. Believing that he is the lord of lords and king of all kings is something we need to anchor in our hearts so that we can
understand who He is and who we are. LORD is the term used over 600 times in the New Testament to identify Jesus Christ, which means master and supreme authority. So the shepherd is Jesus. Many today want to be free and independent and do not like the idea of ​​anyone being their lord, but they are the same people who accept the idea of ​​a free Savior and salvation. For those who are truly God’s sheep, they dedicate themselves to loving and serving the one who died on the cross and rose from the dead so they can live spiritually with him forever. Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

It may be a small word but it is extremely powerful and means “flowing” what God has always been. He is infinite, from the beginning and has no end, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He loves you and is listening to you right now. My is our next word and it may sound elementary, but it’s what separates having a personal relationship with Christ from another collection of words we know like “Amazing Grace” or the “Star-Spangled Banner”. Shepherd means someone you trust completely, you strive to hear every word he says, you love and adore, and are always ready to do whatever he tells you to do. Who is Jesus for you? Are you determined to live with him and love him even if everyone chooses not to? Jesus is quoted again, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and I am known to mine” John 10:14. The Great Shepherd loves you where you are, but will never leave you as he found you.

In closing, the verse ends by saying, “I shall lack nothing.” What does it mean? We all have things we desire. I believe this means that when we are the sheep of his flock, his presence alone is more than enough to fill us far beyond what the world can offer. Many have great amounts of wealth and blessings, but are not satisfied, grateful, or filled with spiritual joy. God is the only one who can saturate our souls with his peace and contentment.

About Myra R.

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