“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 23 is probably the most well known and beloved of all the Psalms. Maybe it’s so well-loved because it is so personal and individual. The Lord is pictured as our Shepherd and we as His sheep. Many Christians know it by heart. It is often heard at funerals and murmured to people in their hospital beds. It has provided comfort and hope to millions of believers over the centuries. It still brings hope to us today as we deal with the coronavirus and other difficulties in life.
Its author, King David, wrote it from his own personal experience when he was put in charge of tending his father’s flocks. He knew sheep. He knew their needs, their value, their vulnerabilities, and their many weaknesses. Sheep are needy. They need a shepherd. So do we, especially in times of difficulty.
In this passage, we find “I shall not want,” and “I will fear no evil,” and, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” These are statements of confidence at any time and especially in times of crisis. David’s been in danger, he’s been in a crisis, and somewhere along the line, the Spirit of God has revealed to David the secret of having unshakable confidence, even in the midst of the most devastating crisis. That secret is the Shepherd. David is basically saying that I’m not going to be fearful or anxious, because of my Shepherd. He’s all-knowing, He’s all-powerful, and He loves me, and He wants me to know He will meet every need. Not on my terms, not by my agenda, but He promises to meet my needs all the days of my life. Wow. Let that sink in for a moment. David knew fatigue, hunger, fear, harsh living conditions, and intense disappointment. But he found that God always got him what he really needed when he needed it.
The coronavirus is a valley we have to pass through. Here’s God’s promise: His presence. He will be with you.”So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Hebrews 13,
God promises that whatever you are facing, He will be with you.
- What does Psalm 23:1-6 mean to you?
- How can this passage of scripture give you hope in times of trouble?