Tag Archives: Psalm 23

In Search of The One

Psalm 23:6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

What a great verse to start the day! I don’t which part I like better- the part about goodness and mercy always following me or about dwelling in the presence of the Lord forever! We are promised, because the Lord is our Shepherd, only goodness, mercy and unfailing love will follow us throughout our lives. The job of a shepherd is to watch over his sheep- caring for them, protecting them, keeping them out of trouble and making sure that they are well-taken care of. As long as the sheep stay close to their shepherd, they don’t have to worry about anything. It’s only when they wander outside of his care that they may have problems. It’s the same way for us with our Shepherd. When we stay in the Lord’s care, allowing Him to provide for our needs, offering protection and guidance, we can be assured that we won’t have to worry about anything. It’s only when we wander away from Him that we have to fend for ourselves.

In Luke 15:4-6 Jesus tells this parable 4What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?   5And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own] shoulders, rejoicing.  6And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost. I remember hearing this story in Sunday School as a child, only with a little more detail. It went something like this-  The shepherd had brought all of his sheep home for the evening, and as he did every night he counted them one by one to make sure they were all there. When he was done counting he realized that one of the little sheep was missing. He went out in the dark to search for the little lamb. When he had searched for a long while he heard a sound. He shone his light down into a deep ravine and saw the little lamb lying at the bottom, hungry, cold and afraid. He quickly went into the ravine and rescued the lamb. He carried it back to the barn where he took care of it’s needs. Even though my teachers took some poetic license with the original parable, as I have, we can still learn a few things from this fictional story. First, the 99 sheep that stayed with the shepherd were warm, dry, safe and cozy in their barn the entire time, it was only the one who wandered off that got into trouble. Second, the shepherd cared enough about the one little lamb that he was willing to go out in the night and search for it no matter how long it took. Third, once he found the lost sheep he took it back to the rest of the flock, tended to it’s needs, and brought it to a place of restoration. This is how much our Heavenly Father, our Shepherd, loves us. If we stay by His side, following His lead He keeps us from harm and we see His goodness and mercy and unfailing love continually at work in our lives. If we do happen to get lost, He will do whatever it takes to bring us back to His fold. When he does find us, or rather when we find Him again, He brings us back to a place of restoration just as if we had never left. Take a minute today to thank God for His care and concern for you!

The Table Before Us

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
Our God gives us not only more than enough in the natural, but also spiritually. I read something very interesting in a commentary that related to the part of this verse that talks about anointing the head with oil. 
It is difficult for those living in a temperate climate to appreciate, but it was customary in hot climates to anoint the body with oil to protect it from excessive perspiration. When mixed with perfume, the oil imparted a delightfully refreshing and invigorating sensation. Athletes anointed their bodies as a matter of course before running a race. As the body, therefore, anointed with oil was refreshed, invigorated, and better fitted for action, so the Lord would anoint His “sheep” with the Holy Spirit, Whom oil symbolizes, to fit them to engage more freely in His service and run in the way He directs–in heavenly fellowship with Him.
He prepares a table for us in His presence. A place for us to be refreshed, restored, renewed and revived by the Holy Spirit. God gave us His Holy Spirit to enable us to stay in constant fellowship with Him while serving Him. If He is preparing a table for us it stands to reason that He doesn’t want us to eat alone. He desires to fellowship with us. He desires a relationship with us. We just have to accept His invitation. What good is a table prepared if we choose not to partake of the feast in front of us? I am again reminded of the parable in Matthew 22:2-6 2The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son 3And sent his servants to summon those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they refused to come.  4Again he sent other servants, saying, Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have prepared my banquet; my bullocks and my fat calves are killed, and everything is prepared; come to the wedding feast. 5But they were not concerned and paid no attention [they ignored and made light of the summons, treating it with contempt] and they went away–one to his farm, another to his business 6While the others seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and put them to death. How must the king have felt? He had prepared everything to have a wonderful time with his friends, yet none of them would make the time to attend the celebration. I wonder if our Heavenly Father feels that way when we decide not to share in the relationship He so readily offers us? He is waiting at the table for us to come and spend a little time with Him. Will you choose today to accept His invitation?