Seven Day Bible Reading Challenge Day 1 – Psalm 23

Psalm 23New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
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 your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

What Kind of Literature is This? – Poetry.  Psalms are prayers and songs set to music

What did it mean when it was written?  That culture would have been familiar with sheep and the role of the shepherd .  They would have understood the shepherding language in the first four verses.  They would have also noted the shift in verse 5 to the palace banquet scene.  Because this psalm is associated with David, they would have recognized it scenes from his life.

Who am I in the story?  Obviously not shepherd.  I am one of the sheep in verses 1-4, who needs provision, guidance, rest, and assurance.  In verses 5-6, I am the honored guest of the King, who has invited to a banquet.  He invites me to dwell with him forever, so I no longer live in fear or anxiety.

Where is God in the Story?  God is the shepherd who provides, leads, and protects.  He is the King who honors me at a banquet and who invites me to live in His Kingdom. always.

Why is this in the Bible?  To remind me to let God lead me; and to remind me to stay in His presence.

What is God saying to me?  If I am going through a tough time, He is telling me I am not alone.  If I am feeling devalued, He is telling me I am his prized participant in the Kingdom.

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