For years, Psalm 23 has been that precious psalm used by pastors and loved ones to comfort the hurting during times of loss. For many, it is known as the “funeral psalm”. However, this deep and powerful psalm has so much more to offer us in our daily lives — strengthening us as we follow Christ and trust in His care.
When we consider Psalm 23 — we have to remember that it is HEBREW WISDOM LITERATURE. And in such, it is very poetic. Hebrew Wisdom Literature has several distinguishing features. One of which is the tendency for the writer to bury the most important idea, or the grand theme, deep within the heart of the passage. And this is certainly true with this psalm. See if you can find the big idea of this psalm. As David put it,
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 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. (Psalm 23, NIV)
Did you catch it? It’s found in the middle of verse 4, where David writes of God, “for you are with me…”
If there’s one thing that David knew — above all else, it was this: God was with him! He had come to understand that through it all, the good and the bad, God was present and close. What David discovered, he didn’t hide away or keep secret. Instead, he chose to share this good news with you and me. While life can be hard — we never have to face it alone.
May you be encouraged today to trust in Him throughout each and every moment of your life.