Week Two – Day 1
Monday Psalm 23 Psalm 23:1-3
Psalm 23English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even 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.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
O – After staying in an agricultural society for the past week, I am seeing how the Bible uses images that would have made sense to the people of that day. The shepherd was so important in giving life and guidance to the sheep. He provides for all of their needs – water, shelter, protection from animals, picking them up when they were tipped over, leading them in the right pathways, annointing them with oil for bugs and diseases, using the rod and staff for discipline and safety. (I read A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 many years ago – a great read – and we dissected the book in my second grade classroom at Brockton Christian School.) And yes – sheep are very stupid, stubborn and needy animals. Yet – they are watched over very carefully by their shepherd.
A – Thinking of this psalm from a different perspective than one used funerals and sickness, I think of how God watches over me – when I am “stupid, stubborn and needy.” Just like a sheep, I need His guidance and protection, leading in the right pathways, discipline, and care when I am hurting. I, too, need to be watched over carefully by my shepherd. Do I obey, or go off on my own way? Do I respond to His discipline and caring? Do I use what He supplies for my needs, or go wandering off to try to take care of it myself? Do I wander to dangerous places instead of staying by His side? Do I act more like a sheep, or His child? I hope that I could say, “The Lord is MY shepherd – I shall not be in want.” I am glad to know that He is with me – He protects and cares for me. The end result is SO much better if I listen to His voice, follow Him – and obey.
P – Father God – You ARE the shepherd. I am a sheep – needing Your care and protection. Keep me in Your care, and help me to stay by Your side. Help me to listen and obey. Father, I want to be content in Your care, knowing that You provide for my needs, so I don’t have to go looking elsewhere. Keep Your rod and staff ready to protect me, – and to protect me from myself. Thank You for Your loving care and guidance.
The Lord’s My Shepherd – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-qLa_2GPcM
The Lord’s My Shepherd – Jeff Majors – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8EF0AAoQIA