Interacting with Psalm 23
Most people, both Christians and non-Christians, are familiar with Psalm 23 since we’ve all likely heard it a funeral.
I like to interact with the Psalm outside of funerals every so often because my understanding of it grows each time.
In my senior English class in high school, we memorized Psalm 23 and had to rewrite it with correct punctuation for a test. It’s one of the most prominent memories of high school for me.
Some years ago, I read A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23, and it gave me a completely new view of the Psalm. I’ve never looked at it the same since reading this short book.
God as Provider
Recently, when I read through Psalm 23 again, not only did all these previous interactions come to mind, but I was encouraged with a deepening recognition of God as my provider.
Considering the analogy of God as shepherd, I better understand how he meets all my needs. He offers rest with nourishment, and he renews my strength. He also guides me in his will and takes away my fears with his constant presence.
God also provides for me with his continual protection and comfort, and with abundance, special treatment, and overflowing blessings. I am pursued by his goodness and unfailing love, and I look forward to dwelling with him forever.
Going beyond how Psalm 23 is familiar for most people helped me see it as more than just a comfort in times of despair. I am also reminded again of how God’s word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and how taking a fresh look at familiar scripture can be exceedingly rewarding.