Intoduction to a Month with Psalm 23

Here we are on the brink of May. And if this does not get posted until tomorrow here we are in May! I hope you can spend some time with me in the Psalm 23.

This is a psalm a lot of people are familiar with. We hear these words at funerals and we see them on barn wood plaques in Walmart and at craft sales.

It may be a series of verses that brings peace or maybe you read it, hear it, and think… ‘What do sheep, still waters, and a rod and staff have to do with me? On top of that there are a lot of things I want and do not have so I’m not sure what this idea of ‘I shall not want’ means.’ Where ever you are on the spectrum of interpretation of Psalm 23 I hope that we can learn something together about this Psalm.

According to my Lutheran Study Bible this psalm was written by David. The study bible notes did not indicate when he wrote the psalm. We do know that David was the man who…

began his story in the bible as a shepherd.

God used to defeat Goliath,

Befriended by King Saul’s son, Johnathan. This King would eventually want to and attempt to kill David.

God made this covenant with:

I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you.

And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of earth.

And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more.

And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel.

And I will give you rest from all your enemies.

Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son.

When he commits iniquity I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men by my steadfast love will not depart from him as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.

Your throne shall be established forever.”

had an affair with a woman whose husband was at war. In order to cover his sin he killed the man by sending him to the front lines.

is known for being in the lineage of Jesus.

and so much more.

This was the man who God used to pen the words of Psalm 23. He was a man who knew the leading of his shepherd. He was a man who was a shepherd to baaing dumb sheep. He was a man who knew the pull of a staff and had used a staff to save his own sheep. David was a man who understood just how wandering sheep acted and how much the heart of men and women wander. David was a man who understood that sheep needed to be watched after each second and he understood he needed his shepherd to watch over him at each part of his life. I would love to know if this Psalm was given to David by God to write during a specific event of his life or what events came to mind as God gave David these words to pass along to others.

The plan for the month of May is to look at two phrases of the psalm per week.

This week will be an introductory week to the man who God used to write the psalm, other places we see God speak of himself as the Shepherd, and giving a little outline for what each week will look like.

The week of May 6th we will look at:

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

and

He makes melie downin green pastures

The week of May 13th we will look at:

He leads me beside quiet waters

and

The week of May 20th we will look at:

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his names 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 staff they comfort me.

The week of May 27th and sneaking into June we will look at:

You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup overflows.

and

Pray for me as I prepare this look into Psalm 23 that it will point people to their Savior, Jesus.

I am looking forward to spending time in this chunk of scripture. May is a crazy season for our family and being reminded of where peace and all things I need come from will be a needed reminder.

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