“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
When we go through difficult times, it’s a comfort to know that the Lord is with us always and will bring us through these troubled times. Psalm 23 speaks of the Lord’s watchful care for us at all times. As the shepherd of his children, the Lord’s watchful eye continually watches over us for our good.
” The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” (verse 1)
“The Lord is my shepherd.” Jesus is our shepherd. He said “I am the Good Shepherd” and “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” We must come to Him in repentance and faith believing that He paid the price for our sin on the cross. This will cost us everything. The Word says this of the cost: “…. You are not your own (we belong to the Lord). For you are bought with a price (the precious shed Blood of Jesus on the cross).” He now says to those that will: “Follow Me.”
“I shall not want.” The Lord will provide for both our physical and spiritual needs. But it is more than this. In knowing Him, we have come into a rest for our souls, knowing that His love for us will never waiver and He will watch over us always. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, and “… surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We can believe and trust in Him because of the love he showed for us at the cross.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters.” (verse 2)
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” This verse speaks of a bountiful supply. 2 Peter says of this, “According as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.”
“He leads me beside the still waters.” Whatever we are going through in life He gives us the refreshing waters that restore our soul. Jesus said this regarding the water He provides, “..Whosoever drinks the water that I shall give him shall never thrust; but the water that I shall give him shall be a well of water springing up into Everlasting Life.” What a promise!
” He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s.” (verse 3)
“He restores my soul.” In this life, we encounter difficulties, trials, and sorrows. At times, we become weary in our journey. We have the Holy Spirit to comfort us in these times and to lead us through all that we may go through in this life. Jesus called Him “The Comforter.”
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” The Holy Spirit will lead us in paths of righteousness as we place our faith in the Lord and His great work at the cross.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and staff they comfort me.” (verse 4)
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Satan is our mortal enemy. Satan’s attacks can be powerful and we can feel greatly threatened by them. The Lord says “fear no evil”. He is our great Good Shepherd and will see us through. A shepherd watches over his flock for their safety at all times. He would not call himself our shepherd and not see us through whatever might come against us.
“Your rod and staff they comfort me.” The only fight we are called to fight is “the good fight of faith.” The Good Shepherd will fight for us. With his staff (crook) He will pull us back to safety in times of danger. With His rod (club) He will beat back the powers of darkness that come against us. We need only rest in His care.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” (verse 5)
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” He is telling us that enemies will come against us in this life, but in the midst of these attacks, He prepares a table (of blessings) for us.
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” speaks of Holy Spirit and abundance. He is our divine “helper”. The Holy Spirit works mightily in us as we continually place our faith in Christ and Him crucified.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (verse 6)
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” All our needs in this life are provided for us by His loving hand. His mercy is afforded to us when we drift off the path. The Lord, as our Good Shepherd, watches over us with goodness and mercy in this pathway called life.
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This speaks of eternal life. We are His, and we will be with Him forever. After all, He is the shepherd of our souls and will bring us through all we go through in this life. We can trust Him.
The Lord requires that we place our total faith in Him as our “Good Shepherd”. He has proven His love for us by His great sacrifice at the cross. We, as sheep of His pasture, prove our love for Him by trusting Him and submitting ourselves to His care. In so doing, we can be assured that His watchful eye will help us and protect us at all times.
“For the eyes of the Lord run and to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect (having faith in our Good Shepherd) towards Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
“Behold, I Am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me.” (Jeremiah 32:27)
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