We cannot deny that there is a lot of chaos in the world. Nations are against nations. People are not getting along with other people because of their beliefs. There is crime in our community, and racism is still alive and well. There is still unsettled rest, and people are being targeted and disliked because of the color of their skin. Despite everything that is going on in the world, one thing remains the same since the world’s foundation began. There is safety in God.
Psalms 23 outlines the safety we have in Christ despite what may be going on around us. The very first verse sets the tone for everything else. Psalms 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Webster defines this word as a person who tends sheep. God is the Shepherd, and we are his sheep. In the Bible, we are referred to as sheep. Isaiah 40:10-11 says, “Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. We are also referred to as sheep in Mark 6:34, Revelation 7:17, and Ezekiel 34:30. So what does it mean when the Bible speaks of God being our Shepherd? That means He takes care of us. He provides for our every need, which goes back to the second part of the verse. We have no wants because everything that we would need has already been provided. God is faithful to us and takes care of us. He knows our every desire because he is the one that gives us the desires that we have (Psalms 37:4). Being the great Shepherd that he is, God leads us in the path that we should go Psalms 27:33.
Psalms 23:2 says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” What comes to mind when you read this verse? Peace and tranquility come to my mind. Because God is our Shepherd, we have peace and refuge in Him despite what may be going on in the world. Remember, the Bible charges us to take heart because Christ has already overcome the world. If you allowed the peace of God to rule in your life, there would be no room for doubt, fear, or anxiety. Philippians 4:7 says, And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. While others may be shaken by alarming news, you are able to stand on the Word of God and allow your face to be set as a flint. With a made-up mind and knowing in your heart despite what I see, God has everything under control! You rest when others worry. You smile when others may become upset. You speak life when others talk about what they see.
Psalms 23:3 says, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God restores. The definition of restore is to bring back to or put back into a former or original state; renew. He restores strength, relationships, joy, and anything else. I have witnessed God restore marriages and broken relationships. You may come to Him broken, but nothing can remain broken in God. How does God restore? Through his Word. God’s Word is powerful, and it is sharp. The Bible refers to the Word of God as a sharp double-edged sword that cuts through everything. His Word is also powerful enough to mend whatever may be broken or in need of repair. If we follow the will of God, we cannot go wrong.
Let Him take the lead in your life. Life is filled with choices. We can choose to go down the path that God has set for us or edecide to go our own way. As mentioned before in previous blog posts, God is a gentleman, and He is not going to force His will on you. What are you giving up to go the path that God has set for you? Your choice and way of wanting to do things. Our will becomes God’s will. When we choose to allow ourselves to be led on the path of righteousness, the choices and the decisions that we make will bring glory to God, and it will also benefit us. We love God, and we serve Him for who He is, but even the Bible speaks of there being benefits to doing this. Psalms 103:1-6 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
Psalms 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. As Christians, the Bible speaks of us being in the world but not of it. There is a difference. You can consider this verse to be one of the benefits of serving Christ. One of the promises that He gives us is that He would never leave or forsake us. He stated He would always be with us. So when tests and trials come your way, you are not alone. Father God is right there with you. In those valley moments that make it seem like this is the end, God is there. Regardless of what it looks and feels like, He is keeping you from all hurt, harm, and danger. God keeps His promises. He brings comfort when we need it. Allow this verse to remind you that being a Christian does not exempt you from tests or trials, but this verse should also remind you that you are victorious despite what it looks like because you have the overcomer with you. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Psalm 23:5 says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. When people try to set you up for failure, God turns it for your good. God will bless and elevate you in the face of those who plot against you. A minister at my church did a teaching series on sheep. She taught about how the Shepherd would pour oil on the heads of the sheep. Doing this kept the flies and other flying pestilences from getting in the sheep’s ear. The oil served as a barrier from harm. It is the same way with Father God. When God anoints us, there is a barrier of protection established, and nothing can penetrate a barrier created by God!Psalms 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Because we are in Christ, His mercy and goodness follow after us. God is good to us all of the time, and we have to be careful that we don’t take His goodness and mercy for granted. We experience brand new mercies every day we open our eyes—every step we take and word that we speak. We mess up, and we make mistakes, but God is merciful and forgiving. He knows us inside out, and yet He loves us flaws and all. He desires to continue to work in us so that He can work those things that are no like Him out of us. This is a continuous process that God is willing to do. I am reminded of a message that a different minister at my church spoke about. She talked about God being the Potter and how He molds and shapes us until we reflect Him. God wants us to experience and have the best. This can only happen when we trust and rely on Him. Allow our steps to be ordered by the Good Shepherd