Psalms 23

Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23   The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
  He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
  He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s 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 your staff,
    they comfort me.
  You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
  you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD


Psalm 23 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Psalm 23 is known as the shepherd’s psalm. Composed by David as a youth, he was keeping sheep when Samuel came to his father’s house to find the king which God had chosen to replace Saul. Interestingly, the shepherd theme would go far beyond David’s life to illustrate the foundational principles of God’s Kingdom.

David is best known for being plucked from his lifestyle as a shepherd to then be a spiritual shepherd for all of Israel. Jesus is known for willingly leaving His place in Heaven to come down and shepherd all people into God’s Kingdom. Ironically, this would come through sacrifice. A shepherd made a living protecting and raising the sheep that would be slaughtered as a sacrifice to God, but Jesus transitioned from shepherd to lamb in order to atone for the sin of the world.

This was a completely new idea to the first-century observers. David had used his shepherding skills to defeat Goliath, so most of Israel was awaiting a Messiah who would take up their sword and slaughter every enemy in sight. King David lived in a time of anticipation for the Redeemer. Through the Holy Spirit’s influence, He wrote about his own experiences while also foreshadowing Jesus’ first coming.

We are living in different times. Just as David lived his life in anticipation for His King, we should also live today in anticipation for the second coming of Jesus. This time Jesus will not come as a sacrificial lamb, but as the judge of all humanity. The last half of Psalm 23 can be read prophetically to encourage us forward during these tumultuous times.

Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. Why? Because Jesus is on the throne and He’s coming back! At that moment when He burst forth from the sky, He will prepare a table in the presence of His enemies. The sheep will be at that table while the goats will be judged and sent away. At that moment, for believers, goodness, and mercy will follow for eternity! We will most definitely dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever!

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