Psalm 23 Commentary
Probably the most read, most well-known, and the most quoted psalm. Psalm 23 is simply a beautiful and timeless gem!
The interest with which we read this psalm increases quickly as we realize that we are hearing the shepherd’s voice. Days and nights spent behind and ahead of the flock can always be hard on one’s commitment, love, and care. David knew what it meant to care for the sheep.
It wasn’t for fun nor for social media that David risked his life going up against a lion or a bear when they attacked his sheep. One would guess David traversed the length and breadth of the barren Middle East in search of good pasture for his sheep. We can see David’s view of God from his experiences as a shepherd boy.
We can see the picture of the Body of Christ as the flock. The LORD Jesus is the shepherd. The enemy is the roaring lion. He is slain by the powerful, loving, and caring Jesus.
David would become the shepherd-king in the manner of the real Shepherd-King. And when he killed Goliath, the picture of who the lion was and who the sheep were is complete. The LORD could do with a man who valued his sheep so much that he could bravely fight the lion in order to save his own sheep. Israel was in need of this kind of man.
But here David is the sheep who has found this kind of generosity, this kind of lovingkindness, and this kind of commitment in God.
The most loved psalm has this catch: before David becomes the sheep, he is the shepherd who provides all the care that he personally seeks and claims as the sheep. And David was helped greatly to become a good shepherd boy. Under the power of the Spirit, David killed the lion, the bear, and lately, Goliath – much like Samson killed the lion with his bare hands under the power of the same Spirit of God. Other judges achieved impossible feats under the power of the Spirit. For the saint, righteousness can be had under the power of the Spirit.
Then one can proudly look to the Shepherd-King with confidence in the generosity of the LORD. And a time comes when the enemy and the enemies can seethe in disappointment when the saint is seated at the right hand of the Shepherd-King.
In the meantime, the saint can walk through the valleys of this life unafraid of evil because of the presence of the ever-present, all-powerful, all-knowing, and immortal Shepherd-King.
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