Psalm 23 and the Christian

Psalm 23 and the ChristianText: Psalm 23

The 23rd psalm is one of the most well-known and well-loved passages in the Bible. It helps provide comfort, encouragement, and peace as we go through a harsh and wicked world. It was written during the time of the old law, yet there are certainly lessons that apply to us as Christians.

The Lord is my shepherd” (v. 1)

  • He did not say OUR shepherd, but MY shepherd – this is personal
  • Each of us, as individuals, must decide to follow the Lord – individual accountability (2 Corinthians 5:10)
  • He will not force us to follow – we must choose to do so (Matthew 11:28; 23:37)

I shall not want…” (v. 1-2)

  • The Lord provides us with everything we need (2 Peter 1:3; James 1:17)
  • Because of this, we can be content in every circumstance with what the Lord provides (Philippians 4:11-13)

He restores my soul” (v. 3)

  • Through Him we pass from death to life (John 5:24) – He offers an abundant life (John 10:9-10)
  • This is not merely about this life (1 Corinthians 15:19) – we have eternal life through Christ (Romans 6:23)

He guides me in the paths of righteousness…” (v. 3)

  • The gospel reveals God’s righteousness (Romans 1:16-17)
  • The paths of righteousness are found in His word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) – we must practice righteousness (1 John 3:7)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” (v. 4)

  • As Christians, we will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12) – we should not fear (1 Peter 3:13-14)
  • Even if we have to go through death, do not fear – either the persecutors (Matthew 10:28) or death itself (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (v. 4)

  • God is the source of comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) – He offers us peace that passes comprehension (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • There is also comfort in His promises – particularly in the return of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

You prepare a table before me…” (v. 5)

  • God will exalt and reward His people (1 Peter 5:6) – Jesus will bring the reward (Revelation 22:12)
  • This will be done “in the presence of [our] enemies” – all will witness this (Philippians 2:10; Romans 8:17)

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me…” (v. 6)

  • God has promised to be with us and bless us (James 1:17)
  • He will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6)

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v. 6)

  • This is about much more than the blessings we enjoy in this life – we have hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:3-4)
  • This is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23) – let us follow the Lord so we can take advantage of this

Conclusion

  • The Lord is our shepherd – He is leading us through this life to eternal life
  • No matter what we have to go through in this life, let us continue to follow Him

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