Psalm 23 — English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
One of the first passages or verse I likely learned in Sunday school, Psalm 23 speaks to the most fundamental belief that there is an ultimate guide in our life, some ultimate “shepherd” who will provide us shelter, point us in the right direction, and look after our most basic needs.
The ultimate “shepherd” gives spiritual strength and courage while we may wander or stray or journey through our various valleys within the shadows of death. The “shepherd” is willing and able to pull us back to safety when we things get out of hand or when we lose sight of where we need to be or where we should be.
It is also comforting to know that the “shepherd” will provide a table for us and a place for us, even in the presence of our enemies and haters! The “shepherd” is willing to stand up for us and defend us and anoint us in the presence of opposition! We are assured that there is an advocate and defender for us– ALL OF US!!! We must trust in Him and have faith in Him.