Today we read Psalm 23, one of the most famous/popular of all time. I was just thinking today about how certain passages just cut through all the clutter in my brain and truly touch my heart and my soul. To me this is one personal evidence that Scripture is truly unique in its power. Yet sometimes popularity can take the beauty out of passages, so I take the time to truly soak this one in today.
Just in case you are like me and sometimes don’t do the reading associated with the plan, I will copy/paste it here because it is so beautiful. (And it’s short… 🙂 )
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,[a]
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 goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
One thing that I like about this reading plan is how the Psalms are read in context with the events that inspired them. (At least I think that is how it works!). I focus on verse 4. Sometimes things went swimmingly for David, other times not so much. But in every circumstance, he was comforted.
I did a little research into the rod and staff of a shepherd. I had always thought of the rod being more for discipline, but apparently the rod has many uses. The rod was used to mark, separate, guide, protect, and restrain as well as discipline. And we are all familiar with images of the shepherd using the staff to rescue his sheep. Then I take a moment to remember the times God rescued me, and I am grateful. Then I think about that “prodding”, which at times saved me from falling in the crevice to begin with, and again I am thankful.
Thank you, Lord, for being my Good Shepherd.