Making the 23rd Psalm Peronal

The 23rd Psalm, from the New American Bible, with personal notes. (You can have them for your own if you’d like. And feel free to add your own thoughts as well.)

“The Lord is my shepherd;

-> MY shepherd. The One who looks after ME, cares for ME, watches over ME.

“I shall not want.

-> How could I? My Shepherd owns the cattle on a thousand hills plus the hills. He gives ME everything. Does that sound selfish? Like there won’t be anything left for you? Don’t worry. My Shepherd’s wealth is infinite, it knows no limit. He can give it all to me and never deplete His supplies. That leaves just as much for you. Cool, huh?

“In verdant pastures he gives me repose;

-> Lush and green. No room for want in this pasture. Oh, I know how it looks at times. But that’s just an illusion based on poor eyesight. See, I peeked. I read the last chapter in the book. I already know how our story, His and mine, turns out. In the end? Repose. Rest. Even now I reap the benefit of resting in Him. He told me to come to Him if I was lugging around a heavy burden (sin) and He would give me rest. Like I said, I shall not want.

“Beside restful waters he leads me;

-> In the middle east, long ago, shepherds used to redirect water so that it would form a calm pool. They did this because sheep are afraid of loud, splashing, furious running water. They would spook, and if they fell in and got caught in the current with all that wool they’d drown. So my Shepherd takes my fears and weaknesses into account and makes provision for me. The water is calm, but not stagnant. Living water, bubbling up in my heart and soul. I need never thirst again.

“he refreshes my soul.

-> MY Shepherd takes care of more than just my outward, physical needs. He cares for the inside part of me as well. He IS a Good Shepherd.

“He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake.

-> He has a reputation to protect. His good Name. He takes care of me because He loves me and, well, just mention His Name to anyone. He’s famous for His loving care.

“Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil;

-> I don’t need to be afraid of the dark. His light dispels the darkness. The darkness around me, even the darkness that’s inside of me. He knows what its like to be where I am when its dark. He hung on a cross one day and the whole sky darkened. He can help me because He has personal experience with the dark. I can have confidence in Him.

“for you are at my side

-> See? What’d I tell you?

“with your rod and your staff that give me courage.

-> That rod and staff? All the old-time shepherds used to carry a club and a cane with a crook in it. The club was for a sharp rap on the nose or rump to bring a wayward sheep in line. The Father only chastises the son that He loves, not a stranger. And that crook fits perfectly around the sheep’s body. He uses it to pull the sheep out of that spot. You know the one. It’s between a rock and a hard place.

“You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes;

-> He’s not scared of the wolves. He can feed me while they look on. I’m safe with Him even when the wolves are in sight. He even sees the fake ones, the wolves in sheep’s clothing. You see, they’re more afraid of Him than I need to be of them.

“You anoint my head with oil;

-> Shepherds used to carry a horn at their side. It was full of olive oil. Olive oil is very healing, very soothing. You see sheep are always getting themselves all scratched up, poking their heads into briars trying to get at something that looks good but isn’t in their best interest. Sheep aren’t to bright. But He doesn’t seem to mind. That’s why the oil, the Holy Spirit, is there. It’s what confession is for too.

“my cup overflows.

-> Do you wonder why my cup overflows? He is infinite in His love and care. How could my heart not brim over?

“Only goodness and kindness follow me

-> If you’re a sheep it’s all He knows. Goats on the other hand are another topic.

“all the days of my life;

-> For all my life. And the sheep that follow this Shepherd? Hey, life everlasting. Eternal life. What more can I say? What more could I want?

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”

-> I’m pretty sure I have my own room. He said He was going to prepare a place for me so that I could be with Him.

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Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm  Comments Off on Making the 23rd Psalm Peronal  
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