April 22, 2021
Psalm 23 KJV
Smyth County Circuit
Clinch Mountain District
Psalm 23 King James Version
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23 is famous. It has been used in countless tv and movies, often when a protagonist stumbles towards death or mourners are huddled around a graveside. It is one of the most popular and recognizable Psalms of all time. It may even be one of the most well-known passages in the entire Bible. It was the first piece of scripture that I remember memorizing in Sunday school as a child. When President Bush addressed the nation after 9/11 he quoted verse 4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.” I am sure even now as you read this you could probably recite this Psalm from memory.
Psalm 23 is beautiful song of trust. A Psalm that can carry us through all the days of our lives. We tend to think of Psalm 23 as a funeral Psalm, but it is so much more. It is a Psalm that functions as a reminder to us of the relationship between God and his people. A Psalm that reminds us that God sustains, provides, and cares for his flock. Not just once, but time and time again. It is a Psalm that reminds us to live in the face of danger and misfortune— even in the shadows of darkness that might surround us —and to know that in living we will be sustained. As someone who has faced medical illness and battles…this Psalm has provided me a great deal of comfort. For even when we are walking through those valleys, we can trust that God is with us. God is with me. And dear friends…God is with you.