Everyone is probably familiar with PS 23, starts out The Lord is my shepherd... A while back I wrote a tid-bit as to why this PS always scared me instead of giving me comfort the way it was meant to do. Why, you might ask? I wasn't sure really except for the fact I didn't understand what it was saying, but then while watching Joseph Prince yesterday, I got a revelation as to why it scared me so much.
This was a passage of scripture that you mostly only heard at funerals. That's right, I can hear those preachers now, "YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW DEATH"...... (and I know you can't hear me but imagine if you will that passage with alot of yelling, shakey, vibrating voice behind it) you know the kind those hell fire preachers preach with.
Well HELLO! What kid wouldn't be afraid? The same thing with our nightly prayer we were taught as a child to say before we went to sleep. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should DIE before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." OK no wonder I have been scared all my life of the nighttime and bedtime, thinking that I should DIE before I wake. HELLLO! Ok, what kid is going to sleep with sweet dreams now? I mean all they are thinking is I might die before I wake, and exactly how am I going to die?
OK, now let me get to the point of PS 23 what it is really wrote for and meant for you. It is a comforting word. Let me try to break it down, the way I received it this morning while meditating on it.
1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want..... A shepherd is a protector, a shepherd protects His sheep at all cost, they will give their own life for their sheep. Jesus gave His life on the cross for all of us. Not only did He give His life but He said you shall never want for anything, in other words when you are feeding on His word, you will have no lack in your life, every need shall be met.
2. He makes me lie down in green pastures.... You have heard the saying the grass is greener on the other side. Well, if you are living for Jesus it is. Once you make Him your Lord and Savior, you will have green pastures. He will lead you to the place where you won't be looking at the Jones' so to say, you will be content with your green pasture, you will have more than enough.
He leads me beside the still waters..... He gives you peace, when you are in a relationship with Him you feel His peace. You feel calm and still, not troubled. You learn to let go and let Him take your burdens away.
3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousnes for His name's sake.... Once you make Him Lord of your life, He will cleanse you, He will give you peace and understanding in your mind. He will place you in the right place at the right time for His favor to shine on you. His righteousness will abide within you, and you will obtain all His benefits and power. You will have the favor of God on your life.
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..... As we live on this earth we will be faced with the evils and wiles of the enemy,but we do not have to fear because He has conquered the enemy and we have victory over our enemy. His WORD is our sword, we are given His word to protect us. When we know who we are in Christ Jesus and we know what His word says, we then have what we need to get us through those valleys. He says, He did not give us a spirit of fear. AMEN!
5.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You annoint my head with oil; My cup runs over....God knows before we do what the enemy is going to try to use against us, and He prepares us beforehand with a WORD that will cancel out the enemy's seed. He annoints us with His power, the same power He gave Jesus, He gives to us. We are annointed with the power of healing, the power of prosperity in our lives, the power of a sound mind and peace over our enemies attacks. We have more than enough in every area of our lives.
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....With Jesus in your life, goodness will over rule the evil and mercy and forgiveness is yours when you mess up, There will be no end for when Jesus is your savior, you will have eternal life with Him and the Father all the days of your life here on this earth and then for all eternity after this life.
So you see PS 23 is a message full of good news, of comfort, of peace. This Psalm was never meant to be spoken at a funeral for someone who is dead, this Psalm was written to give us HOPE and an understanding of just who JESUS really is to us. He is our Savior who saved us from death by His forgiveness of our sins, but he is also a Shepherd, someone to protect us at all costs, and to give us those green pastures, still waters and mercy and forgiveness. Oh how He loves us. AMEN!
When you teach your children this Psalm, don't just have them memorize this scripture and not understand what it is saying. Teach them the good news. Teach them the love of Jesus. Show them who Jesus really is to them. Help them to see Him as their Shepherd. ( and leave out the prayers of death at bedtime please)
STAY IN THE WORD!