Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, 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 runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
David’s most well-known Psalm is the 23rd. This incredible soliloquy in a nutshell captures just how well David understood God’s Heart. These verses will help us see just how well aligned God’s heart was to David’s words. Let’s look at what David understood about the heart of God and what we can glean from it to become Men After God’s Own Heart.
- The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want: The Lord Provides for Our Every Need. David understood every aspect of being a shepherd, so when he states here that “The Lord is my shepherd,” his expertise on this point was as a Subject Matte Expert. David treated his job a shepherded with great reverence and pride. If you recall, David used this expertise and diligence as a shepherd to state his case to battle Goliath. David knew that as a shepherd, he protected the sheep from bears & lions; he ensured that they were always provided for. So, when he says the lord is my shepherd, he knows from personal experience that God is never going to leave him wanting for anything nor will God leave him unprotected from any destruction aimed his way. David reminds us that we can trust God to provide & protect us. Abraham called Him Jehovah Jireh; the Lord who provides, while we call Him the Good Shepherd (John:10 “I am the good shepherd). The good shepherd gave His life for His sheep.
- He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters: The Lord Guides Us Towards Peace. What David explains here is that God’s presence in our lives produces Peace. His peace, which surpasses all understanding and adds no sorrow. His peace calms us in any chaotic situation. His peace which makes even the most difficult decision, perfectly clear. The Lord leads us to peace; even when the journey takes us through hardship, hurt and even pain; our destination remains His peace. David could relate to this, after all his journey to the throne took him through rejection, ridicule, battles, betrayal, failure and fatigue. Yet, he ultimately ended up where God told him he’d be before the journey began. Isaiah said in chapter 26 (Isa 26:3) that “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” We can trust God to lead us by His peace.
- He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake: The Lord Restores With Righteousness. Restoration is a word that means “the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.” Think of an old car that was once, shiny, sparkling and new. However, over time has been broken down, parts damaged, paint decayed, even the tires flattened. Just a mere shell of the car that it used to be. Likewise, God made us in His own image; but our sin has dented, decayed and damaged His righteousness appearing through us. There is also another definition for this word, “the return of a hereditary monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power.” Living in this earthly body will erode the Godliness of us all. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual in the heavenly places in Christ. Yet His righteousness restores our position at the right hand of God’s Throne, because we are positioned in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Henceforth, God has restored us by His righteousness.
David provides such great perspective on God’s heart for us that we could not possibly take it all in at one meal. We’ll look at the rest of the chapter next time. However, we need to remember that God comforts us with His Presence. He Provides everything we Need; Leads us into Peace; and Restores us to Righteousness. This allows us to seek first God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness, knowing that everything we need will be provided and the worry we have are eliminated (Matt 6:33-34).