Blessing has been associated with benefits. Praising God is a form of blessing Him, too. Psalm 103:1-2 says, “1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Divine benefits come in many forms, good things, as well as challenging trials that were meant to benefit our soul. David wrote Psalm 23 as he reflected on the many benefits that he received from the Lord despite his trials.
1. God’s blessing of spiritual nourishment. v.1-2a
“1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,..”
Ezekiel 34:3, “3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.”
A shepherd himself before he became king of Israel.
His son Absalom was rebelling against him.
His kingdom was in disarray.
He hid somewhere in the mountains.
His children were fighting.
Absalom later died.
David did not give up nor loose hope.
God did not abandon David.
God’s persistent loving provision, his welfare was well taken care off as he trusted in the Lord.
2. God’s blessing of spiritual restoration. vv.2b-3
“He leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
Jesus said,“37If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38.
Water is a symbol of cleansing and restoration.
Water baptism symbolizes the cleansing of the soul.
It symbolizes restoration to God’s fellowship.
Baptism is just the first step to following God.
Choosing to live according to His ways brings relief and inner peace.
3. God’s blessing of spiritual protection. v.4
“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.”
Shepherds would carry with them two equipment: a staff and a wooden rod, or a club.
Wooden rod for protection against predators.
A staff is a wooden stick, that is about 5 to 6 feet long and has a hook or a crook at one end.
A staff is used to bring back a wandering sheep closer to him.
The staff also symbolizes dependability. A shepherd may lean on it when tired.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
4. God’s blessing of God’s communion. v.5-6
“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.”
The word anoint originated from the practice of the shepherds.
To ward off lice and other insects that can burrow or dig inside the ears of the sheep and kill the animal.
Spiritually, God can protect our mind by anointing us of His word.
He affirms you as His child in front of your enemies.
By sitting around His table, you are eternally associated with Him.
Do good to those who hate you.
Help those who are under privileged.
Gift someone this Christmas, as a way of sharing the Gospel.