What's the most well-known and popular psalm in the Bible? Hands down, it's Psalm 23. A favorite at funerals because of its comforting words, it's short and descriptive, making it a memorable favorite.
It is a calming and reassuring prayer that's brought comfort and hope to POW's and millions of other through the centuries.
Psalm 23 could very well be called the Lord's psalm. It's a very personal expression of trust in God. Short, compact, yet richly filled with deep language.
A psalm by David.The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. [vss 1-3]
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. [vss 4-5]
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [vs 6]
(Psalm 23:1-6 NIV) [Context– Psalm 23]
Key phrase— The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What is the confident statement made by King David at the beginning? How does this first line reveal how personal this psalm is?
What are the ways David sees the Lord personally involved in his life?
Which statements express great assurances and express David's confidence in the Lord?
If you're familiar with King David's life (1 & 2 Samuel), how are all these confident statements reflective of the journey of his life?
King David was a shepherd before he was a warrior and king (1 Sam 16:11-13; 17:34-37). He understood the responsibility of a shepherd caring for his sheep from personal experience.
This psalm expresses confident statements and assurances of God's provision, guidance, restoration, protection, and presence. It's intensely personal.
Perhaps this is why it's such a popular psalm. Anyone can lean into this comforting prayer and profession of trust. It expresses the personal and hope-filled nature of faith (Heb 11:6).
This psalm encourages a person as they repeat it's simple, confident statements, no matter what adversity they may face.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Do you currently have a similar confident trust in God as King David expresses in this psalm?
How have you experienced the Lord's personal guidance and protection in your life?
Are there any of these assuring and confirming statements that are hard for you to accept now?
Are you willing to trust God for His provision, guidance, restoration, protection, and presence in your life?
Some final thoughts...
To gain this level of confidence and trust, the Lord needs to be your personal Shepherd. This is an intimate and personal trust relationship between yourself and God.
This week, especially if you're going through discouraging, challenging times—read and pray through this psalm morning and evening for a week. At the end of the week, reflect on how your view of things changes and how God has made His presence known to you.
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?