The Lord is my shepherd

  • There may be human shepherds who attempt to lead us, but none is so faithful as our good and wonderful God.
  • The Lord God Almighty is the one who leads and guides us.
  • The Holy Spirit is God’s instrument for guidance in our lives.

I shall not want

  • There are many things we may want, but only a few are actually needed.
  • We are to trust God for the things we need.
  • We are not to pine our hearts away when we don’t get what we want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

  • God always has something good for us.
  • This is a time of rest; a time for Sabbath quietness and peace.

He leads me beside still waters

  • God’s Spirit leads us to places of peace and rest.
  • Water in the scripture is a symbol for chaos; chaos is no more.
  • God leads us to places of peace.

He restores my soul

  • There are times in life when we become afraid and hopeless.
  • God knows our hurt and is there to restore us.
  • Restoration is what heartfelt forgiveness is all about.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake

  • God leads us in the paths of righteousness.
  • There may be other voices that we hear and listen to, but only the Spirit of God leads us to things that are good, right, and near to the heart of God.

I will not be afraid even when I walk down the darkest valley; I will not fear

  • All of us experience times of hopelessness and despair.
  • Yet even in our despair God is there.
  • As FDR said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
  • Fear keeps us from looking into the heart of God.
  • Rather than fear the things of the world that get us down, we are to fear the Lord. Such fear is the beginning of wisdom.

You are with me, God; your rod and staff comfort me

  • God’s presence is all we need to help us deal with the dark night of the human soul.
  • God’s promise is to be with us.
  • Jesus said it this way, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of you.”

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

  • None of us is without our enemies, those who don’t understand us.
  • God’s promise is that one day, all will know what is in our heart.
  • God’s blessing continues to live and move around us.

You anoint my head with oil

  • Just as God had a plan for David to be the King of Israel, so God has a plan for you and me as well.
  • Don’t ever give up on God; God builds purpose and meaning into all our lives.
  • This is what providence is all about.

My cup runs over

  • Our prayer is that our cup runs over with love.
  • When our cups run over, the blessings God gives us are not only enough for us, but also for those around us.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all my human days

  • We can never run away from God’s goodness and mercy.
  • God’s promise is to be near us, all the days of our lives.

I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.

  • God’s house is the fellowship of the church, the gathered faithful who come to worship and pray.
  • David’s promise to God, David’s promise to himself and to us, is that gathering for worship and prayer will remain a top priority in his life, no matter what!
  • The final blessing of the psalm is a strong hope that even in the afterlife God will be there for us.
  • We are not alone; no matter what!