Psalm 23 (The Lord is My Shepherd)
Summary: The LORD is my shepherd. He leads me in paths of righteousness. I will fear no evil. I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
23:3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
23:4 Even 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
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Final Thoughts on Chapter 23:
The famous Psalm 23 features some very well known phrases like “The LORD is my shepherd,” and “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” It is quite a beautiful poem, but it makes me wonder why this one is so famous, while the rest of the psalms are not so much.
One reason I think goes along with this pattern I’m beginning to see occurring when I come across the most well known of passages throughout the Bible: they are usually the most calm, loving, and compassionate parts. They paint God as all loving, forgiving, and a being that genuinely cares about each of us personally. Because those are the passages that get repeated all the time, this seems to be why myself and the general public has that sort of an impression of God’s personality.
What’s troubling though is that when you actually read the Bible, there are many stories concerning God that are, for a lot of people, disturbing, unsettling, and/or contradictory. We are presented with this whitewashed version of God in Church and in passages like here in Psalm 23, but then see him saying or doing things that seem to contradict that type of loving nature plenty of times as we read through the Bible. It’s hard to know what to feel.
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