The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…
Few of us are unfamiliar with these words. After John 3:16, Psalm 23 is probably one of the best-known passages of Scripture, read frequently at weddings, funerals, school assemblies… Many non-believers could quote this psalm accurately, and some will even take comfort from it in their darkest hours.
And this familiarity breeds, if not contempt, at least complacency. We think we know it well, so we rarely study it in any depth. If we were asked for our favourite Bible passage, we might not want to say it’s Psalm 23, for fear of seeming unoriginal, or like we haven’t really studied the Bible much.
But in listening to a recent sermon where it was quoted extensively and powerfully, I was struck by the depth and beauty of the imagery in this psalm, and how it ties in with much of the life and story of Jesus. In passing over it because we think we know it, we are missing out. It merits another closer look.
So in this series, we’re going to do just that. Line by line, let’s delve into the richness of what David was really telling us about God here, and what that means for us today.
To whet our appetite and set the tone, I thought I’d share these lines from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, Sally Lloyd-Jones’ gorgeous devotional book for children (also highly recommended for adults!):
Don’t be afraid, Little Flock,
I’m your Good Shepherd.
You have everything you need.
When you’re hungry,
I’ll feed you.
When you’re thirsty,
I’ll give you water to drink.
When you’re tired,
I’ll bring you to cool shade
Where you can rest.
I will rescue you.