“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3
This psalm of David continues in our theme of the Good Shepherd. In Psalm 23, it is the shepherd who leads David to green pastures and beside still waters. There, David’s soul is restored. Readers love this imagery of resting, being nourished, and restored. As one who is typically more on the go than lounging beside still waters, I have found this psalm inviting yet challenging as well.
Today, as I meditated on the psalm and did some further reading, I could not help but notice that Psalm 23 is more than just a resting psalm. It is one of action as well. David had to follow the shepherd. Once he came to the bounteous green pasture to eat and rest, he then followed the shepherd to still waters where he could drink. David spoke of following the Lord to receive nourishment for his body, soul, and spirit.
After this time of nourishment, David then followed the Shepherd on the paths of righteousness. Notice that he walked on the paths of righteousness “for his [the Shepherd’s] name’s sake,” How often have I read this psalm and completely missed that part? David walks in obedience to the Lord depicted by walking the paths of righteousness. God’s care of David allowed him to then follow the Lord faithfully.
So, what does that look like for us today? How can we live out Psalm 23 on a daily basis? Just like the Lord led David to places of nourishment, rest, and restoration, so he longs to do the same for us. As humans, we must take time to be nourished by his Word, his presence, and his Spirit. We are invited into a deep rest with him. As God ministers to our hearts, minds, and souls we are strengthened for the journey. Then, we must go – go serve, go love our brothers and sisters, go out and build the kingdom of God.
The Lord as our Good Shepherd knows how to perfectly care for each one of us. Often, we live as if we have no need for our own nourishment or we simply don’t make time. To reject the invitation of the Good Shepherd is to miss his very best for us. We burn out; we survive instead of thrive; and we forget who and what we are living for.
May we faithfully follow the Lord to green pastures, still waters, and the paths of righteousness so that he is glorified and seen through our lives.
Reflect & Respond:
What is the Good Shepherd inviting you to experience with him today? Will you receive his perfect nourishment so that you can faithfully go out and do all that he has called you to do today? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our new six-week Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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