Psalm 23 is one of the best places in the Bible for encouragement. It is a hymn of David, written to share with his readers how he managed to cope up, and even overcome his “valley of the shadow of death.” The valley of the shadow of death simply referred to a perilous environment. His life was in great danger. The threat of death was all around him. Was God with him all the time? Yes, God never left him. He was with David all the time. There are several lessons that David shared with us through this hymn of confidence in the face of his dark valley.
1. God is faithful to lead us through difficult situations.
“1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
“6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.
· God has a track record of faithfulness.
· He is the good leader who never abandons His people.
· He is the strong leader.
2. God is faithful to satisfy our needs.
“2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2.
· This verse reveals David’s state of mind. A mind free from worry, anxiety and fear.
· He filled his mind with God.
· He was fully satisfied with God’s leading and provisions.
· He recognized that God can restore the weary soul.
3. God is faithful to guide us in making the right decisions.
“3 He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3
· He helps us to make the right decision through the Bible.
· The Holy Spirit will help us remember the things we have read from the Bible.
“26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
· Look for timeless biblical principles that can be applied in your situation.
· Ask God to give you discernment and wisdom.
4. God is faithful to protect us.
“4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:4
· David was confident in the Lord’s protection as he faithfully followed Him.
· He affirmed that God was bigger than his “valley of the shadow of death.”
He concluded in verse 6, “6 Surely, goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
· It’s again a statement of unwavering trust and confidence in the Lord’s faithfulness.
Who is the Lord that David was referring to?
“11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11.
John 10:11-14, Jesus said,
“11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So, when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
· As the good shepherd, Jesus knows His followers.
· He protects them.
· He never abandons his flock.
· He cares and loves his flock.
Does that sound like the shepherd in Psalm 23?
Maybe you want to make Jesus your Lord and Shepherd. You can pray this prayer.
Dear Jesus, thank you that you are the Lord and the good Shepherd. Please forgive my sins. I’m inviting you to come into my life and be my Lord, my Savior and my Shepherd. Lead me and bless me. Amen.