Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd, I Lack Nothing
1 The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His Name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
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 Your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord
One of the most famous Psalms of all time – and understandably so.
King David opens Psalm 23 with the powerful words: “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He is referring to our Heavenly Father – the loving Shepherd Who tenderly, carefully, and unwaveringly guards His beloved flock. Throughout his life, David knew who his protector, provider and vindicator was. He remained humbly (and wisely) aware of the fact that he could do nothing apart from his Creator. Christ Himself once said, “By Myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30) – so imagine then us mere mortals! Weak and corruptible, incapable of knowing what will happen a few moments from now, we too depend solely upon God. And because we serve a loving Father, He is happy to provide.
David continues verse one by saying that he “will lack nothing.” God will ultimately lead him down “paths of righteousness” (Ps 119:72) because he is His. So confident was David in God’s protection and care, he did not fear. Even in the face of his own death, his trust was set firmly in the Lord (v 4).
King David knew and committed himself to the secrets of Heaven. He knew that by loving, honoring and obeying God, God was glorified and he was blessed. David said in verse 5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” God promises to bless us even in the midst of our enemies. And not only bless us in front of them, but supply all our needs “exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think” (Eph 3:20). Jesus explained that God gives in ways that are “pressed down, shaken together, and running over” when we follow Him (Luke 6:38). God can never be out given!
The psalmist concludes his song with, “Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever” (v 6). Because David faithfully followed the ways of the Lord, living under the constant care and guidance of his Good Shepherd, he was given divine strength to persevere and press on. He was able to look forward to the eternal life in God’s magnificent Kingdom; the place he now calls Home.
Spend time reading and meditating on this powerful and encouraging Psalm today. Read it over a few times, and believe every Word you’re reading. God is speaking to you. He wants you to have faith and courage like David because, just as He walked with him in the darkest valley’s, so does He walk with you today.
“Heavenly Father, how great and mysterious are Your ways. Thank You for allowing me to lie down in green pastures, and quieting my soul beside still waters. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; my eyes fixed firmly on You. Surely Your divine goodness will follow me all the days of my life and I, too, will one day dwell in the eternal House of My Lord. In Your Good and Holy Name we pray, Amen.”