The Twenty-third Psalm

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the east coast of the United States, my thoughts and prayers are with all those in its paths. I pray the LORD will spare you and your families the devastation and pain I know can come from disastrous storms like this.

I pray God will fill you with his peace and presence and comfort you as only he can.

And for those not in this storm’s path, I pray for you also.

Why?

Because the storms we face in life are not limited to those of nature.

 

The Twenty-third Psalm has been on my mind quite a lot over the past few months. The more I study the words David penned all those many centuries ago, the more I appreciate his words, and find renewed comfort in them.

In my study I’ve discovered several important things to note in the Twenty-third Psalm. Perhaps you understood these points years ago, or like me, maybe they are points to an oft-quoted passage in the Bible we need reminded of.

Because God is our shepherd, we have everything we need. We don’t lack anything, even when we may feel otherwise. When our world is anything but peaceful, our Shepherd pulls us aside where the waters are calm. Away from the noise and strife of the world, to a place of rest in him.

When we walk in the midst of dark troubling paths, even to the valley of death, we don’t need to be afraid, because Jesus is walking that path right alongside us. He is guarding us. Guiding us. Staying close because he loves us, and nothing reaches us he didn’t plan or permit.

 

The rod of his power and strength are ready to protect us from the things that could harm us. His shepherd’s crook pulls us back to him when we go off on our own wayward path like the not-so-bright sheep we truly are.

The banquet set before us is just for us. Our enemies are left outside; staring in. They aren’t invited as we enjoy the goodness, mercy, and unfailing kindness of our Shepherd.

When our time here on earth ends, Jesus, our Good Shepherd, will take us to his home where we’ll live with him forever in the mansion he prepared for us. The mansion will be glorious, yes, but the most wonderful thing will be the fact we will be in the presence of God forever.

Do you have any addition thoughts on what the Twenty-third Psalm means to you? I’d love to hear them.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guestand fill my cup to the brim.I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;and your house will be my home as long as I live. Psalm 23 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”The Twenty-third Psalm has been on my mind quite a lot over the past few months. The more I study it, the more I find renewed comfort in its words. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Jesus Is Our Shepherd

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Like many folks when I was young, I memorized Psalm 23; the oft quoted psalm written by the Shepherd-King, David, that we use to compare to Jesus our Good Shepherd. I knew the words by heart, but didn’t fully understand their meaning until I recently began reading Chuck Swindoll’s Living the Psalms. Encouragement for the Daily Grind.

As with many Old Testament words and images, I find our modern understanding of them doesn’t always translate the true intent of Old Testament words clearly without a further explanation.

In his chapter on the psalm which Chuck Swindoll titled, “The Woeful Song of Frightened Sheep” he says:

  • Sheep lack a sense of direction. They get lost easily, even in the familiar environment of their own territory.
  • Sheep are virtually defenseless, awkward, weak, and ignorant.
  • Sheep are by nature unclean.
  • Sheep cannot find food or water. If left to themselves, sheep will eat poisonous weeds and die.
  • The sheep’s wool belongs to the shepherd, not the sheep.

Of course, as he lists the sheep’s qualities he compares them to humans, pointing out how like sheep we truly are.

Although I found Swindoll’s explanation of each of the psalm’s verses very interesting and helpful, the clarity I most discovered came from his explanation of verse 5: He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.

The meaning of that verse never quite came into focus for me until now.

He explained how when the shepherd takes the sheep to a new field to graze, he rakes down the grass with his staff and looks for viper holes. When he finds the holes the adders live in, he pours a circle of oil at the top of each hole.

He also spreads oil on the sheep’s heads; anoints them in a way.

When the adders sense the sheep’s presence and attempt to attack, they can’t pass over the slippery oil.

Should they manage to climb out of their hole, the smell of the oil on the sheep’s head drives them away.

The sheep are now free to eat at the table full of fresh grass the shepherd prepared in the presence of the enemy snakes.

What about you? Does that make Psalm 23:5 clearer, or did you already understand its meaning?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. Psalm 23:5 (VOICE)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

You might think something’s wrong with your speakers from the beginning wobble of this video, but all is well. It’s just Crowder. 🙂

[bctt tweet=”When I was young, I memorized Psalm 23; the psalm showing us Jesus is our Good Shepherd. Yet, I didn’t fully understand the meaning until recently.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Praise God

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Which do you find easier … praise God when everything is going well, or when things are falling apart?

Is it easier to shout out, “Yay, God!” during the times of absolute happiness, rather than when our hearts are crushed and broken?

For most of us, I would guess it’s easier to praise when things are going along without a hitch, than it is when we’ve hit the bumps of life.

courtesy pixabayI’d also have to say I find it easier to sing hallelujah to God when the path is smooth, than when it is dark and troubled.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t shout out my praises. It’s just harder to do. Not impossible.

Because he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, God doesn’t change. He’s still the God who spoke the world into being and allowed his son to die a horrible death so we could live with him forever.

He is the God worthy of our hallelujahs no matter what the situation.

In the 23rd Psalm, David wrote that even when he walked through the valley of the shadow courtesy pixabayof death, God remained with David and he had everything he needed.

We can say the same thing.

Even on our darkest days, God remains with us and provides what we need.

When we turn our eyes to the one who loves us with an everlasting love, and trust him to work all things out for his glory, knowing nothing reaches us he didn’t plan or permit, our praise may come out in halting, stammering cries, but it will come out.

Still we will praise him.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself which brings honor to His name. Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me. You are making a table of food ready for me in front of those who hate me. You have poured oil on my head. I have everything I need. For sure, You will give me goodness and loving-kindness all the days of my life. Then I will live with You in Your house forever. Psalm 23 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!