I have been reminded of the 23rd Psalm on several occasions lately and wrote about it HERE and HERE a few weeks ago. There are many good lessons to be found in this passage and another aspect was shown to me recently.
I noticed that the whole passage can be seen as a journey, beginning in the early years and ending when we are old. Let’s look at this journey today. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1). A baby is helpless; others must meet every need on the first leg of this journey. The Shepherd has to lead the child to food and water, “green pastures and still waters” (Psalm 23:2) and keep it safe along the way. And as with all good parents, the Good Shepherd “leadeth me in the paths of righteousness”, (Psalm 23:3), we are led, then later directed, down the right paths on this journey.
However, sometimes we must go through troubled times, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” (Psalm 23:4). But we are not to be afraid because He is with us on this part of the journey; He will protect us. And at the end of the dark valley, there is a light. When we emerge from the darkness we find that the Shepherd has prepared a banquet and we are the guest of honor! As we step into this leg of the journey we notice all our enemies who were harassing us in the dark valley are now forced to watch us being honored and there’s nothing they can do about it. “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:” (Psalm 23:5). We are blessed! (“Our cup runneth over.)
As we leave the banquet and continue on our journey, we have some traveling companions, “Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6). We have been traveling with the Master and now He continues to bless us. But where are we going? Where is our final destination? “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6). We began this journey depending on the Shepherd for everything, continued to receive what we needed as we traveled, and end up living in His house for eternity. Where are you on this journey?