WORDS OF THE 23RD PSALM
Words of the 23rd Psalm can be called to mind by many of us. It is likely that, with the possible exception of Jesus' teaching on prayer (what has come to be known as "The Lord's Prayer"), the words of the 23rd Psalm comprise the most familiar portion of the entire Bible.
That being so, it might seem difficult to say anything fresh and helpful about this psalm of David's. And yet there is still much food for the soul in it. Six short verses, simple in language, yet profound in thought. Many other psalms are a prayer for help, this is a declaration of faith--a song of confident trust.
If you do not own a copy of Phillip Keller's classic work, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (originally published by Zondervan Publishing House, 1970), I encourage you to order one for yourself. You can click on the link below and get it at reasonable cost from Amazon.
Even after nearly 40 years, that little volume is still in print, and certainly still worth obtaining. It is a book you will read again and again. Mr. Keller trained as an agrologist at the University of Toronto, then spent many years raising sheep in British Columbia. His knowledge of sheep, and of the deeper meaning of this psalm will bless you over and over.
To begin, here are the words of the 23rd Psalm, in the New King James Version, indicating the verse divisions.
(1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (3) He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. (4) Yea, 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 runs over. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
To study the psalm further, you can click on the meditation below, or the discussion Bible study. The latter study can be done individually, but it is also useful for group discussion.
Psalm 23 Meditation
Psalm 23 Study