There are few words in the English language that represent the idea of “rest” as much as the word “home.” Ideally, it is the place where you can experience the ultimate form of relaxation, protection, and peace. The psalmist must have known how important this idea was when he said, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” It is the ultimate image of eternal rest.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17). The ultimate gift from above is the blessing of the Lord’s presence. The author of the 23rd Psalm is certainly confident that the Lord is with him, and as a result his cup is overflowing.
Trusting God whenever everything is going well? That’s easy. Trusting God when the shadow of death is looming large? That’s difficult. How can trust be consistent in spite of our circumstances? That is the question we ask.
Life is not static! It moves at a fast pace, and for some of us the word “frenetic” is an apt description. The phrase “paths of righteousness…” in Psalm 23 is very interesting. At least two things are implied: 1) The shepherd leads us; 2) the shepherd’s path is the correct one. Whatever else is true about paths of righteousness, it seems that these paths should not be frenetic.
There is a difference between what I want and what I need. In theory, we all embrace this idea. The difficulty comes when we begin to define the words. What is the difference between a desire and a need? Are unfulfilled desires actually needs? If so, which ones? The Good Shepherd promises to supply all our needs. Let’s think about what that means.
This week we begin a series on the 23rd Psalm. This is perhaps the most well-known passage in the entire Bible. Each week we will read the Psalm together and focus on just one verse. Our focus this Sunday is simple – our shepherd will always provide for our needs. This is a repeated theme in the Old Testament, the Gospels, and the Epistles. May we learn to rest in this eternal promise from God.