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.
Last time we took a look at David’s most well-known Psalm; the 23rd. The focus was on David’s understanding of God’s Heart. We only made it through the first 3 verses last post, so today we will look at verses 4-6. As we continue to see this Psalm for its ability to capture the insight from the one God called a Men After God’s Own Heart. Let’s see what these last verses of this Psalm can show us about the Heart of God.
- 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: The Lord’s Presence Removes Fear. Jesus is with me; His presence is full of love and it is Perfect Love that cast out Fear. We can take comfort in knowing that regardless of where David ended up God was with him and he knew God loved him. This text is a reminder that we will all go thru valleys, however, in every valley God is with us and His love comforts us (with His Rod & Staff). His rod (or His Discipline) can comfort us by understanding that He who God loves He disciplines (Heb 12:6). When a parent disciplines a child, it is out of their love for the child and wanting the best for them. It is the same way God loves us that He will step in when we are off track. His staff (or His leadership) comforts us by providing guidance and support to accomplish the task we have been given. The staff is used to help man stand and walk; both are areas that we need support in; standing for Jesus and walking in God’s ways. We can overcome our fears by knowing that God is walking with us; guiding us along the path set for us; and discipling us when we go astray so that we do not end up too for off course.
- You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over: The Lord’s Anointing Attracts Blessing and Haters. When God anoints your head, your cup must run over. Strong’s defines anoint in this text as to be made fat; to grow fat; to become prosperous. So, the very act of anointing you is prospering you with overflow (My cup runs over). The interesting thing about David’s understanding is the fact that God prepared his anointing “in the presence of my enemies.” One of David’s biggest haters was King Saul and honestly it is easy to see why; David would be Saul’s replacement, David had greater accomplishments than Saul in battle and his fame grew more than that of Saul. While you can see why Saul would hate on David; yet in the same breath each thing I listed were results of the anointing David walked in. Therefore, don’t be surprised as God elevates you, that your haters increase. They are seeing the results of your anointing which are a blessing of overflow of God’s Presence in your life. Remember that while your God given anointing is an overflowing blessing, it will also attract haters. So, don’t sweat it; they come with the territory.
- And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever: The Lord’s Presence Surrounds Us with Grace. David’s final verse might be the most significant. Whenever you hear Psalm 23 mentioned, I’m sure that most folks immediately think “The Lord is my shepherd.” While that is a very significant statement, as discussed last post, knowing that God’s goodness and mercy stays with us as believers, every day of our lives. Yet, it is the result of that knowledge which causes the final declaration of David; “I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” This is a lifetime decision; David declared that from this moment on (what moment; the moment he understood that Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life). How do we know this? One word; And. This conjunction brings these two statements, thoughts, mindset and decisions together; because of God’s goodness and mercy towards me, I will live my life in the Lord (in Christ) for the rest of my life. We would call this decision salvation; this is when one confesses their need for a savior and believe in their heart that Jesus died for them. Paul reminds us that “the goodness of God leads to repentance (Rom 2:4).”
Is it time for you to make a decision, the decision to dwell in the house of the Lord Forever? The beginning of 2021 would be a great time to make that decision. Maybe you’ve already made that life changing decision, now it is a matter of being reminded that the Lord’s Presence in our lives Removes our fear; Anoints us with overflow; and surrounds us with His Grace. David was deemed a Man After God’s Own Heart, his drafting of the 23rd Psalm really highlighted his understanding of that Loving Heart of God. This dive into this famous chapter should help us to comprehend the heart of God a little better. The deeper we continue to dive into these verses on our own, the more we will comprehend God’s heart and draw us even closer to Him. As we have entered a new year let’s remember what David shared with us from this 23rd Psalm:
- The Lord Provides for Our Every Need
- The Lord Guudes Us Toward Peace
- The Lord Restores With Righteousness
- The Lord’s Presence Removes Fear
- The Lord’s Anointing Attracts Blessings & Haters
- The Lord’s Presence Surrounds Us with Grace.
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