I have been sojourning through the 23 Psalm for a little while now. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t familiar with it, but it wasn’t until recently that it held real significance for my life. A friend of mine and I were placed in charge of an activity for a spiritual retreat. We decided to divide everyone into groups and have them rewrite the 23rd Psalm by trying to relate it to something more recognizable in their lives. Many of us don’t know anything about shepherds, so they replaced the word shepherd with something like, IT guy, or doctor. The Lord is my IT guy; my servers will always be powered up, or something like that. What came of it was truly insightful and made me start thinking about the passage more and more.
With all these insightful views of an old text, I wondered what the main point of the passage was. Have you ever wondered that?
It wasn't until I inverted the passage that it became clearer to me.
The Lord is not my shepherd, I shall be in want. (This means if I constantly want something, then the Lord may not be my shepherd.)
He doesn’t make me lie down in green pastures,
He doesn’t lead me beside still waters,
He doesn’t restore my soul.
He doesn’t guide me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk though the valley of sunshine and life,
I will fear all good things for you aren’t with me;
Your rod and your staff, they scare me. (These are the instruments a shepherd uses to teach and guide his flock)
You don’t prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You don’t anoint my head with oil; my cup does not overflow.
Surely goodness and love will abandon me all of the days of my life, and I will never dwell in the house of the Lord.
It sounds scary doesn’t it?
It’s not at all how I want my life to go, so I searched to find out how to prevent this from happening. The answer was of course in the text. In the beginning David says, “The Lord is my shepherd”. It is because the Lord was his shepherd, leader, master, mentor, or parent that made all the other blessings possible.
Do you want your soul restored? Then you need to allow the Lord to be your shepherd. Do you want goodness and love to follow you all the days of your life? Then you need to make Jesus your shepherd. You have to make sure He is first in your life, your leader, your constant compass and companion.
Read the text carefully and ask yourself if you want those things. Are you willing to let Jesus shepherd you to still waters and green pastures? Don’t wait any longer, go to Him today.