Weekly Devotional 1-15-18 Personalizing Psalm 23
“1A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (NKJB).
William MacDonald in his “Believers Bible Commentary” on this Psalm writes; “Despite its worldwide popularity, the Psalm is not for everyone. It is applicable only to those who are entitled to say, ‘The Lord is my Shepard.’ It is true that the Good Shepard died for all, but only those who actually receive Him by a definite act of faith are His sheep. His saving work is sufficient for all, but is effective only for those who actually believe on Him. Everything therefore hinges on the personal pronoun my. Unless He is my Shepherd, then the rest of the Psalm does not belong to me. On the other hand, if He is really mine and I am really His, then I have everything in Him.”
Considering MacDonald’s personalization, I turned to “The Complete Jewish Bible” for its translation and read; “1Adonai is my shepherd; I lack nothing. 2He has me lie down in grassy pastures, he leads me by quiet water, 3he restores my inner person. He guides me in right paths for the sake of his own name. 4Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me. 5You prepare a table for me, even as my enemies watch; you anoint my head with oil from an overflowing cup. 6Goodness and grace will pursue me every day of my life; and I will live in the house of Adonai for years and years to come.”
As I considered this translation and sought to make it personal these thoughts came to mind:
1) Do I lack nothing, spiritually speaking?
2) Do I experience the Lord’s leadership in my life?
3) Do I experience inner peace?
4) Do I know the He guides me in right paths because His name demands it. That is, am I secure that He guides my life?
5) Am I willing to accept whatever comes my way without fear?
6) Am I secure knowing that even though I am surrounded by evil doers the Lord has set a course for me?
7) Do I have faith that no matter what befalls me I will continue until His will is fulfilled in me?
Even though David experienced extreme turmoil throughout his life, at least from the time that he slew Goliath and was taken into the palace of King Saul, yet he had an inward peace. As I considered his life, I wondered am I in league with him? Perhaps you should also ask yourself, am I in league with David? Do I experience the inner peace that he experienced? Be assured, if we are truly surrendered to the Lord we can experience all of these things; but only then.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man