Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
What is the most often quoted and best known Psalm? I must admit I don't know. But if I had to guess, I would say the 23rd Psalm - also known as the Shepherd's Psalm. But instead of just quoting it, let's examine it a little and see if we can find some of the meaning behind the words that King David penned. Thought to be written in David's advanced years, it is believed to be a reflection of God's provision, care, and mercy over his lifetime. Now as he marches towards his own death (not necessarily imminent), he compares his relationship to God with the understanding of a shepherd - his boyhood roots. We'll take it one phrase at a time:
May God bless you all!
A Psalm of David.
(Well - we know who wrote it.)
(I have an eternal shepherd watching over me and for
I shall not want.
(I do not lack for the necessities of life - He meets all my needs.)
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
(I have abundance and plenty. I am
rich in the Lord's bounty - He takes me to those places that are best for me.)
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
desires are met. The still waters also speak of peace and tranquility - I have "shalom" with God.)
He restoreth my soul:
(When I am down, weary, attacked, maligned, accused, or
otherwise depleted - He lifts me up, blesses me - I do not want for grace, mercy, and restoration with my Creator.)
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
(I am kept from
the evil way not by my own will and decisions, but by His guidance and strong arm. He does everything for my good and for His name's sake - reputation. I am a reflection of His blessing to the world.)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou
(When I am sick or otherwise near death or surrounded by evil,
I am not alone. God is always with me - always aware of my danger and always in control. When I am in pain, He knows, and His presence gives me the strength to be courageous in the face of danger and even death.)
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(His correction is good for me, but I believe
that this verse is more about David pointing out that his shepherd has two powerful weapons that protect him as he travels through the evil valleys. I see the rod and staff here as God's overarching protection. I need not fear the enemy of my soul.)
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
fear of the enemy because God blesses, feeds, and honors me in the face of attack and ridicule. I am at the table - not my enemies. God is honoring me while they must only look on.)
Thou anointest my head with oil;
(Here we see God doing perhaps several things:
anointing for healing, anointing for ministry, and anointing as a host does for a weary guest. God loves us so much that He anoints us with His finest oils - healing, perfume, ministry - He empowers us to serve.)
My cup runneth over.
(This one is simple. I will never have lack. In fact, I can't
possibly contain all the blessings God has in store for me! Ever been so blessed that you had to tell the Lord to stop because you just knew you would burst if He continued?)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
alone. I am always watched over and His blessing are indeed new every morning - I am always in His presence.)
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Jesus said that He was preparing
a place for me in His Father's house. I have an eternal destiny - to be with Christ forever!)
(I have no
(I am not
(My thirst is quenched in Him - my spiritual