Today we’re continuing the 23rd Psalm by the Shepherd David. In this psalm, he uses the metaphor of people being like sheep, verse 3b.
HE LEADS ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS. Why does he say “still waters?” Because sheep have a lot of fur, and, if they get wet while drinking from rushing water, their soaked fur could drown them. Our Shepherd leads us to safe waters to drink.
HE [GOD] RESTORES MY SOUL. Your soul is your intellect, will, and emotions. You can be wounded in one or more of these areas of your soul. Your intellect can be wounded with what you read, hear or see. Your will is your choice to go the right or wrong way. If your feelings (emotions) alone are leading you, without being in a submissive position to your thoughts (mind), you can be misled.
HE LEADS ME IN PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness is composed of right thinking, right speaking, and right acting. How do you know what is right? Get on Route 66--that is, make your life a study of all 66 books of the Bible. If you know another language, study the Bible in that one also, including Hebrew. You can also receive “soul healing prayer” for your inner healing.
FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE. As we walk righteously, we give glory to God’s name. People are watching us, and for that reason we may be the only Bible people will read. The Apostle Peter said, “. . . Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you . . .” (I Peter 3:15).
Several years ago, I was in an local beauty salon, and a man waiting for his wife struck up a conversation. He found that I was an author and said he was working on a book about “why he does not believe in God.” I told him that I definitely believe in God and I would not be able to help him with his book. By this time, most of the people in the salon were listening to our conversation.
Then he asked me, “If a man knocked on your front door and when you answered it, he said he was Jesus Christ, would you believe him? I responded, “I’d ask him to show me the scars on His nail pierced hands.”
The atheist had no further questions. And the ladies in the shop responded with applause. God gave me the answer that day, and as St. Peter said, “We need to be ready.” Fortunately my faith is growing with me.
YES, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL; FOR YOU ARE WITH ME (Psalm 23:4). Shadow is a metaphor for death.
In 2003, my counselor friend, Dianne asked that I come to the local hospital as her husband, Dave, was dying. I was met and walked to his hospital room. The family was gathered and singing softly. He was on a Ventilator, and I was asked to pray over him. I bowed my head and suddenly it seemed right to pray Psalm 23.
I began, “The Lord is Dave’s Shepherd, he shall not want. You Lord are leading him beside the refreshing still waters. You are restoring his soul. Lord Jesus, You have led him in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake.
Yes, though Dave is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, he will fear no evil. For You Lord are with him.”
“Your rod and Shepherd’s staff, they comfort Dave. You have anointed his head with oil; his cup runs over.
“Surely goodness and mercy have followed Dave all the days of his life. And he will dwell in the House of the Lord. Forever! Amen.”
Though Dianne’s husband could not speak, his eyes looked over to his wife on the other side of the bed. She whispered to me softly, “He said, ‘Thank you.’”
I was amazed! How grateful I was to have his response, and to be there.
You too might find personalizing Psalm 23 a beneficial way to pray for someone in the future. This is one of the reasons we are studying psalm 23. If you want to use it in prayer, it is best to have it in your Memory Bank!
In the left column, you will see one poem in bookmark form written by my Dad entitled, “My Days are Numbered.” Following that, there is a second poem, my first one given me, the night before my Dad’s funeral entitled “The Last Train Out.” It seems my Dad sent me a gift of poetry. This poem is included in my poetry book, Treasures from An Oak Chest, page 86.
PRAY WITH ME: “The LORD bless you, and keep you: The LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Shalom. (Numbers 6:24-26 KJV-MOD).
©2016 by Rita Bennett, CRA Inc., www.EmotionallyFree.org