The Lord is My Shepherd
David penned these words and the following verses of Psalms 23 probably
before he became embroiled in the task of being King of Israel. Some
of his lifes decisions betrayed the fact that he had forgotten his
explicit trust in his Lord as that chapter protrays.
Many of us have memorized that chapter and will refer it as being
one of our favorite. It is often quoted at solemn assemblies and in
orthodox churches. But it is evident that of those who quote those
beautiful verses, many never stop to understand what they truly say.
Psalm 23 is the voice of someone who completely relies upon the
Shepherd who arbitrarily takes shepherdship. Only a human shepherd
could fully comprehend what these verses say. The writer takes on
the character of a sheep. A sheep that is totally dependent upon the
Shepherd for a safe abundant green pasture. One whose thirst is quenched
with potable and sufficient water. One who is completely cared for
in perfect peace. One who has assurance in the very face of death
of real protection and safety. One who is able to feed without fear
of predator or foe. One who knows his Shepherd's voice in a personal
way. One who is not just part of the flock, but has an awareness of
belonging to the Shepherd with a kinship that is personal.
Most of us in the 21st Century cannot relate to the attitude of
that young Shepherd, who wrote that Psalm some 1000 years before Christ.
The relatively simple lifestyle of David at that moment would seem
like a dream to us today. He may have set under a large shade tree
as he watched his flock and centered upon one particular lamb as these
words flowed into his mind.
I think it would be next to impossible to actually put oneself into
that frame of mind. What with TV, telephone, appointments, schedules,
responsibilities, etc.Most of us have to be thinking of what we will
be doing two or three days from now; making sure that appointment
A will not interfere with appointment B. We just barely have time
to go to Church 2 or 3 times a week, much less spend quiet moments
just dreaming of the life that David lived at the penning of Psalm
23. After all we have to make sure our budget will allow the house
payment, phone bill, utilities, cable & gasoline (at $2.19 a gallon!)
As you get real old you have to make an appointment with the undertaker,
so he can measure you and your pocketbook. Our life is too busy to
give in to a Shepherd.
But, I just wonder. Is that Shepherd still waiting in that green
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