Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Psalm 23:1.

This psalm is a familiar one. It is another psalm of trust in which we recognize the Lord as our shepherd. Because of who He is, I lack nothing. Everything is provided for me as He leads me, refreshes me, and guides me.  Even when I am in the dark valleys, I do not have to fear because God is with me.

What’s interesting about this passage that gives such vivid imagery in being a part of the Lord’s flock, is we see a transition from God as shepherd to God as the host in verse 5. We enter into new imagery of God being the Lord of hosts. As we sit at a table, He anoints us with oil and we praise Him, as we dwell in His house forever. In addition to that transition, we see a change of how the psalmist speaks about God in the use of “He” in verses 1-3 into “You” in verses 4-6. Even though we are cared for as His sheep, we are invited into an even deeper personal relationship where we can address Lord as “You."

In the last two verses in this psalm, some interpret “you anoint my head with oil” as an attribute of what a shepherd does to take care of his sheep. But to offer you a different perspective, the Hebrew word used for “anoint” here is “diššantā,” which is a form of the word, “dashen,” which means to “fatten, to make fresh, or to prosper.” The Hebrew word for “anoint” that is used to set one apart is “mashach." The psalmist meant to use this form of anoint to fit the context of the verses in which He was writing from. In this meaning of anoint, we can be confident that the Lord does so to prosper us as we dwell in His house forever and ever.

May your cup overflow today in the confidence that the Lord anoints you with today -- even if you sit at a table among your enemies, even if you walk in the darkest valleys. You do not have to fear, for God is with you!

Action Steps and Prayer:

  1. Read Psalm 23:1-6. What does God reveal to you in His word?
  2. Pray through these Scriptures and declare the Lord as your Shepherd and Host today. Thank Him for what He not only provides for you in your basic needs, but that He invites you into His home and into His presence.  
  3. Listen to your favorite worship song that reflects this scripture passage. Here is mine

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