Rev. Carl Swanigan – described Psalms 23 as “the pearl of Psalms.” It helps us understand God’s love for His people and reassures us that God will provide, direct, and protect our lives. The calming tone of God’s care is clear in his words. The images of the restful waters, the green pastures, and a secure path all come is important insights taught by this Psalms.
First, this Psalms shows that the Lord provides for us. Because he is our shepherd, we can be assured he will meet our needs. As he sustained and provided for Israelites in the wilderness for forty years, he will do the same for us today.
Second, this Psalms indicates that the Lord directs us. Essential to a successful Christian life is God’s guidance. After all, he has our best interests at heart. “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” (Isaiah 48:17). While some shepherds may stand behind the flock and drive the sheep in a particular direction against their will, God stands before us and lovingly, leads us in his paths.
Third, this Psalm teaches that the Lord as shepherd protects his sheep. When danger (storms) approaches, he is present. He will never leave us because of trouble but will see us through it. He uses his rod to fight off any intruders who would harm the flock. And he uses his staff to retrieve sheep that wonder away. When danger comes, remember to look to the Lord fro protection.
Finally to those of us who have allowed the Lord to be our shepherd, God dispatches two ambassadors—goodness and mercy—to follow us until we make it home.
When confronted by the shadow of death, we do not have to be afraid because we know that the Lord our shepherd leads us and goodness and mercy follows us.
Rev. Carl Swanigan
Greensboro Cme Church