Follow by Email

Showing posts with label Psalm 23. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psalm 23. Show all posts

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Psalm 23:6 The end

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

We have come to the end of Psalm 23.  This last verse is so very familiar and so very comforting. Our promise that all will end well and will last forever.  I found some commentary about sheep that shed a new light of possibility on what God means by this.  Let's unpack it...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Psalm 23:5c

My cup overflows

The psalmist just told us about the table the shepherd has prepared and the oil which anoints the head.  Now, the cup.  Why a cup?  Why not a platter or a bowl or a pitcher?  hmmmmm.....let's see...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Psalm 23:5b

You anoint my head with oil;
   

Does this conjure up for you scenes from the teenage years when we needed to wash our hair twice a day to get rid of the flat greasy look?  We seemed to have had our heads anointed with oil!  Somehow I don't think that's what the psalmist meant...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Psalm 23:5a

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
 
What picture does this create for you?  Seems a little odd to me.  Like sitting down to eat lobster and steak on the battlefront while the enemy is launching grenades at my head.  Not sure I get the picture the psalmist intends.  Let's get some background....

Friday, May 3, 2013

Psalm 23:4b

Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
 
I don't know about you, but "rod and staff" don't strike me as comforting.  When I am afraid or in need of comfort, what I want is  someone by my side who knows how to accurately shoot a rifle, a place to hide, and a big pile of chocolate. The psalmist prefers a rod and staff.....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Psalm 23:4a

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;


There are lots of things to unpack in this passage.  Let's get started...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Psalm 23:3b

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

The position of "shepherd" was a lowly one.  It was not one that people looked up to, aspired to, nor admired.  Even in this humble spot, though, a shepherd took pride in the health and appearance of his flock.  He didn't want sickly, weak, feeble sheep that would prove detrimental to his reputation.

So, what does it mean that he leads us in paths of righteouness for his name's sake?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Psalm 23:3a

He restore my soul

Notice how the psalmist has switched from the imagery of a sheep (green pastures, still waters) to that of a person in need.  A soul in need of restoration.  A soul that has been worn out, messed up, marred, incapacitated.  The Shepherd restores it.  Let's unpack this passage....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Psalm 23:2b

He leades me beside quiet waters.

A sheep will not drink from rushing waters or from a swirling stream.  Other animals will, but not sheep.  Sheep need calm, quiet sources of fresh water. Turbulent waters or even murmuring springs are frightening to sheep.  They have to have quiet and fresh water sources. A shepherd takes great care to locate proper sources for drinking.  Some streams are too agitating.  Some still water is stagnant.  Sheep need a quiet but fresh supply of water.   Oftentimes, there are no such bodies of water in the area of their grazing.  In those times, the early morning dew soaking the pasture grasses are their best source of hydration.

Thoughts that result from this knowledge of sheep and meditation on verse 2b -

Monday, April 22, 2013

Psalm 23:2a

He makes me lie down in green pastures.
 
This seems reminiscent of naptime battles when I tried to make one of my children take a nap against their will. I wanted to make them lie down!  But I don't think this is what the Psalmist means.  Here's what I learned about sheep that helps explain this sentence.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I'll bet you thought we finished verse 1 yesterday!  Uh, no, not yet.  We dissected it and looked at each part but I have a bit more to share about the verse as a whole. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Psalm 23:1b

I shall not want.

This phrase follows "The LORD is my shepherd" and therefore communicates a consequential relationship.  BECAUSE The LORD is my shepherd, I don't want for anything.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Psalm 23:1

If you missed the first post, go back and check it out.  Some great info on the characteristics of sheep. Now, on to verse 1...

The Lord is my shepherd.

Rolls off my tongue easily.  But what is David the shepherd boy...and our Lord...communicating to us in this phrase? Just a nice feeling?  A sweet metaphor? 
Here are some thoughts:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Unpacking Psalm 23

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well-known and most beloved passages in all of Scripture. It is one of the most read and most memorized sets of verses but perhaps it is so familiar to us that we have fallen short of a deep understanding of it.  At least that's what I found true for myself.  I uncovered alot of truths in it that I had not known so I thought that might be the case for you, too.  So, for the next few posts, we are going to unpack these six verses.  Let me know what you think.