Pondering the Word – Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This is not an unfamiliar passage of Scripture. And there is a reason for that. There are so many rich, comforting truths in these 6 verses that, other than John 3:16 and The Lord’s Prayer, it may very well be the next best know passage in the Bible.
What struck me, as I read this as part of the F260 Bible Reading Plan this week, was one word – twice repeated. It was the word “leads”.
David uses the shepherding metaphor to help share his thoughts. If the Lord is the shepherd, the metaphor implies that we are his sheep. Now David was a great leader of men and one of the great leaders of God’s people Israel. And yet even he understood that he needed to be led.
Leaders lead. But leaders are also being led. Whether they know it or not. And great, godly leaders are being led the Lord.
Not by… public opinion or their feelings or political correctness or financial opportunities or slick advertisers, or our sinful nature. But by the Lord.
I know that I need the Lord to lead me…
…beside still waters (v.2) – Life can be crazy and hectic and stressful and troubling and hard. In the middle of all of this there are “still waters” that I need the Lord to lead me to so that I maintain His perspective and find the peace that surpasses all understanding and can be fueled by His joy to face life as it comes my way. I also need the Lord to lead me…
…in paths of righteousness (v.3) – When I am not following the Lord and being led by Him my sinful, selfish nature will often lead my astray. Not in such a way that those watching me would notice but in such a way that I notice – because I am aware of what my heart starts craving when I am not led by the Lord.
So I recognize that I am being led every day – and hopefully and prayerfully it is the Lord that I allowing to lead me as I read His Word and do what He says. Because I want to experience His still waters and His righteousness in my life.