If you were at one of the Cool Spring services yesterday, you heard me talk about a lens by which to read Scripture. Check out yesterday’s post about the right questions for an overview of the conversation.
Each day this week, we’re taking a different passage of Scripture and asking three questions of the passage while viewing it through the lens of Jesus’ commands to love God and love others. As you read the passage, what do you hear in the passage? How would answer each question? Feel free to comment below.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
1) What do I find out about God and my relationship with Him?
- As I read this passage, I am reminded of God’s incredible involvement in a follower’s life. I love the imagery of the shepherd who is ever present and caring for his sheep. God is ever present and caring for me.
- God is the “causative” factor in my life. He is the one who “causes” me in life. He is the cause of my rest, and He causes my peace. He is the source of my rest and peace. God is the source of my reviving. He causes renewal in me.
- God directs me to the things which are pleasing to Him and benefit others.
- God defends me and pulls me back into the fold. He is my defender.
- God is present in my life. How I need a daily reminder here. Even when I walk through the places of danger, you are with me. Even when I feel alone, you are there. Even when I feel overwhelmed, you are there.
2) What do I find out about others and my relationship with them?
Two pictures come to mind. He is walking with me through the valley of shaded death. Harm may be lurking in the caves and folds of the rocks, but God is present with me and is my protector. What about when I sit at the table with my enemies? The picture isn’t so much of people I may be at odds with personally, but it could mean others that may be at odds with me or may seek less than my well being. As I sit at the King’s table, I am protected by Him. I am under his protection, and no one can harm me because God is my protector. They are powerless to injure me. It’s as if we’re able to live without fear of another or what they might do to us because we live under God’s protection. Again, here’s peace.
Here’s another thought along the line of the King’s protection. What if I held something against someone, contemplated harm or considered getting even for some previous injurious action? Would not the same principle apply to them? If I eat at the King’s table, I am protected by the King. If that “someone” (enemy) is sitting at the King’s table, would they not be protected as well? Wouldn’t it be a waste of time seeking retribution or an effort to get even or harm? I wouldn’t be fighting them but God. Maybe I need to consider that any attempt to get even is a futile endeavor given the fact I’d be fighting the King.
3) How am I to be and do?
To dwell in the house of the Lord reminds me that I live continual communion with God. I need to remind myself throughout the day of His presence, but also of His constant care and provision. It’s almost as if I need to trust Him more. I think that’s my work for today, remembering His presence and His care.
What did God teach you today about Psalm 23?