The Twenty-Third Psalm

A Psalm of the Shepherd,

by the shepherd

Probably like you, I have read and recited David’s psalm many times. It is only recently as I asked the Holy Spirit to take me deeper into this beautiful prayer, that I have seen its timeless beauty, felt new life in its words, and understood the expansiveness of its meaning.

©Nicholas Tarling freedigitalphotos.net

©Nicholas Tarling freedigitalphotos.net

1The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

3He leads me in right paths
for His name’s sake.

4Even 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.

©zole4 freedigitalphotos.net

©zole4 freedigitalphotos.net

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

The more I read His Word, the more I see and share His love with this online church, this community of doubters, strugglers and believers. As I do, the more I understand and experience His powerful and everlasting grace and love. God welcomes us with open arms.

He loves us for who we are, not what we do. Unlike the rest of the world, He loves us without the necessity of performance. His love depends upon His compassion. It has nothing to do with what others think about us, or how we feel about ourselves.

Over the next six weeks, my hope is you will join me on this journey. My prayer is your heart will open to how deep and high and wide and strong God’s grace and love is for you. My desire is for you to experience wonder and joy in the exploration of each verse. My expectation is you will see this lovely psalm in a rich, new way.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, accompanied by Sarah Masen, put this Psalm to music, called The House of God, Forever.

It captures the mood beautifully. Enjoy.

Until next week.

41 comments

  1. thank you for having this blog Susan.

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    1. Your welcome. It keeps me in His word; glad to share what I learn.

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  2. very touching. vw

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    1. Thank you, vw.

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  3. Susan, found you on WordPress.com under tag Psalm. From my WordPress site, here is the first stanza of 23rd Psalm. I think you’ll love the rich language…

    Jehovah’s mine, my Shepherd divine,
    No want will He fail to surpass.
    He makes me dine, be filled and recline
    In pastures of tender, young grass.

    Looking forward to reading your upcoming series…and I’d better look back on your older posts as it seems you have much good content to share.
    Sandy,
    Author God’s Song: Psalms in Rhyming Meter
    http://www.Gods-Song.com

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    1. Oh, Sandy, that is indeed lovely. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’ll be over to visit your site. Sharing His word in the way it speaks to us is such a blessing!

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  4. I really connect with so very few people even if it seems like the opposite. My heart is huge but still connecting is difficult. I need the reminder that only God’s opinion of me matters. I am in a struggle right now. I think it’s time I wrote about it. It’s unlike any other struggle I’ve read about. Sometimes that’s lonely… to walk a struggle unknown.
    Thank you for being one of the few treasured few.
    In His rest,
    H

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    1. I know this struggle, the difficulty to connect. Sometimes in the isolation, we hear His voice more clearly. We are His beloved, His treasure, His pearl. Never forget that.

      Thank you for allowing me into your heart, Heather. ❤

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  5. bunnyb1802 · ·

    Beautiful observations that open a perennial favourite to new understanding for our times when life is hurried, stressed and we need, more than ever, that oasis of peace found with the Shepherd of our souls. Beautiful Susan.

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    1. Thank you so much, Bunny. I hope to unlock some new heart connections in the next few weeks. Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment about this wonderful psalm.

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      1. bunnyb1802 · ·

        Must be a theme, guess was was the text today at church? Yup Psalm 23!!

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      2. Wow! That’s great! Love it. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

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  6. Wonderful post… a refreshing, new glance at an old Psalm that most of us have probably memorized at some point. I love how no matter how many times we read Scripture, its truths still feel new and timely each time we hear them again!

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    1. Thanks, John Mark. This one comes alive even as I write about it. It speaks to all of us in a unique way, and tells a marvelous story of God. When seen through the eyes of Jesus, it’s becomes even more powerful.

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  7. I remember memorizing this psalm as a child…and I still remember it! Love the video…and thanks for visiting me!

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    1. Your so welcome! There is lots going on in this wonderful psalm, so deep and beautiful. I think it resonates with many of us. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  8. Love this Susan. Like you the richness of these beautiful words have become sweeter and gone deeper over the years. Really looking forward to reading what He’s revealed to your heart 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. From you, a huge compliment.

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  9. What an exquisite post, Susan. I am so very happy that our paths have crossed. You and your words are a blessing.

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  10. I’m looking forward to the series, Susan. Because of His grace and His finished work, the job is finished. We must just love Him and trust Him. Good job my girl.

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  11. Wahooooo!!!! Goody goody! Another verse-trip!!

    “He loves us for who we are, not what we do”. I take loads of words to say that. You just do. Thank you.

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  12. I have memorized the King James version, which I love – its beauty is etched into my heart. Thank you for the reminder.

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    1. That’s the version I had initially memorized. Learning different Bible versions is what reawakened me to its living beauty and the deep meaning behind each verse. I’m looking forward to this series with joy and expectation.

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  13. What a great post, Susan! I stand in awe of your ability to make Scripture come alive and pray that all those who doubt and struggle and find it hard to believe would be touched by your words in such a way that they would come to know and love the Shepherd as we do. Hugs and blessings, Natalie 🙂

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    1. (( \ 0 / )) Back to you, Natalie!

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  14. Reblogged this on untitled press and commented:
    I love how Susan has mentioned in this post of how we are a “community of doubters, strugglers and believers”. Amen!

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  15. I so often wanna remember this part the most: “Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life”

    I love how you’ve mentioned how we are a “community of doubters, strugglers and believers”. Amen!

    Thank you so much for reminding me today of this powerful and wonderful Psalm. This post has truly become a blessing for me today!

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    1. I’m so glad. We tend to forget these wonderful psalms are His living word. Every time I read them I discover something new, something that has meaning for my current circumstances.

      I hope you’ll travel this journey over the next few weeks. Especially for those of us that write, I hope it will plant a few new seeds!

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      1. Agreed. Them seeds will surely be sown by His living Word!

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  16. I love the 23rd Psalm and learned it by heart as a child. Thanks for the sweet post. Blessings to you, Susan…

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    1. I grew up with it too, Carol. There’s so much wealth in it’s verses, particularly looking at it through the eyes of Jesus. I hope you connect with what’s to come.

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  17. I am so excited to explore this beautiful passage of scripture with you. Finding you and becoming part of your online community has been such a blessing for me. You have a beautiful soul and I appreciate the way you present Gods word.

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    1. Thank you, and SO glad we found each other on Twitter! The feeling is mutual, my friend. Have a wonderful 4th.

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  18. “He loves us for who we are, not what we do. Unlike the rest of the world, He loves us without the necessity of performance. His love depends upon His compassion. It has nothing to do with what others think about us, or how we feel about ourselves.” Amen! That says it all right there. 🙂 Awesome Psalm. Look forward you have to say. Blessings.

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    1. Thanks, Mel. Happy 4th to you.

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  19. This psalm struck me afresh when I read it from Jesus’ perspective, as a prayer that He may have prayed while walking through the valley of the shadow of His own death. God had cared for all His needs thus far: anointing oil on His head from a loving woman, a passover table spread the night before His death right in the presence of His enemy Judas, a cup running over with the love of communion and the sorrow that He had begged the Father to remove from Him. All these past provisions convinced Him that He could commit His Spirit into the Father’s hands, trusting that His goodness and love would raise Him back up from the grave to dwell in His house the rest of His days.

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    1. Amen, Tiffany, you’ve read it as I have. There is a richness to this that carries to this day. Thank you so much for your comment and your heart for this psalm.

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  20. “I won’t be wanting….” Even though, I am wanting my son who is gone, God has taken care of that through His Son, Jesus. My son is not wanting anymore…and my wanting will be satisfied forever with eternal life in Heaven with my loved ones. Coincidentally, one of Brandon’s favorite groups was Switchfoot…he introduced me to their music which I love. Now, thanks to you, I have been introduced to a beautiful arrangement of The 23rd Psalm by their lead singer and Sarah M. LOVE IT! Have a Blessed Fourth of July.

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    1. As soon as I heard this song, I had to share it. Thank you, Dale. I know each holiday marks another year missing Brandon. I pray today brings celebration with your husband, daughters and grandchildren. Bless you. ❤

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