The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
beside streams of refreshing water.
He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
near with Your protection and guidance,
I am comforted.
You spread out a table before me,
provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
in Your house forever” (Psalm 23, The Voice).
There’s a reason that Psalm 23 is the most recognized and beloved of all the Psalms in the Bible. Just think of how many times you’ve heard it recited– in church services and at funerals. These are some of the most familiar words in all of the Bible.
But have you ever taken a moment to really let this Psalm sink in? Have you ever seeped yourself in the deep well of these words?
How many of us are soul-weary and in need of restoration? How many of us are in the midst of walking through the deepest, darkest valley?
Thankfully, God’s story never ends in darkness. It never ends with heartache and tears. Joy will have the last word. Always.
This Psalm reminds us that God’s faithful love is never passive. It pursues each of us all through the days of our lives, through all the detours and dark alleys of our weakest moments.
God never rests or slumbers in offering rest to those of us who are overburdened and bone-weary. All along the way, goodness and mercy are never far behind and God’s dwelling is always before us.
The promise of God’s faithfulness isn’t for a season or even for a lifetime. It’s forever.