God provides for our every need.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
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 your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Suppose you were walking through a dark valley and being led by a guide. The guide notices that you are afraid and tells you, “It’s okay, I know what I’m doing. Just trust me and follow me.” Imagine you told the guide that you trust him, before running in completely the opposite direction that he was leading you because you were afraid.
It is easy to do this in our Christian journey: to say that we know God is in control, but to live in a way that doesn’t demonstrate that. But what if we actually did live like we trusted God to lead us through all troubles, despite our fears?
That’s what Psalm 23 is all about. David is painfully aware of how helpless he is to find his own way to peace, to righteousness, to comfort and to victory. So, he surrenders the whole journey to God, who alone will provide him with all these things.
We were created to utterly rely on God, who will never fail to provide rest, peace and joy for those who trust in him. When we understand that the Lord is our shepherd then we understand that we do not need to strive to achieve peace with God. He has led us to the still waters of rest and peace in salvation through his death and resurrection. We must stop trying to walk through life’s darkness all alone and trust in God’s goodness, wisdom, faithfulness and love to provide the light.
Psalm 23 helps us to see the difficulties of life and the faithfulness of God from a better perspective. The Christian life can feel like a painful struggle at times, and it is easy to forget that we are not simply asked to “do better” when we feel like we are walking through the darkest valleys. Instead, we are reminded to trust God. He will lead us to the still waters to be nourished and rested. He will lead us in paths of righteousness through the guidance of his word and the work of the Holy Spirit. He will defend us with the rod and guide us with the staff, comforting us with his presence. He will pour out his goodness and mercy every day for the rest of eternity.
Head: How does Jesus fulfil the role of a good shepherd?
Heart: How does knowing that the Lord provides for all of our needs shape our Christian life?
Hands: What is one thing you are afraid of, and how might you trust in God with it today?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are sovereign over all of life. May you guide me through all of life’s valleys and grant me the faith and obedience to listen to your voice. You are all that I need, and you will never abandon your people. Grant me the hope of dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A Song to Listen to: Who you say I am
Lincoln Brown- Adelaide Presbyterian Church