What does Psalms 23 means to me? A 5 minute read Christian article by Adrian Goh Guan Kiong
Profile of Adrian Goh Guan Kiong, Baptized name: Barnabas
– Dead once but found Christianity
– A family man and a Christian who volunteers overseas (Indonesia, Myanmar and other countries)
– Enjoys writing (written articles on fire safety, building management, Mental wellness, mental resilience during COVID19, Work from home, Personal Finances, Can your boss be your friend),
– Reads voraciously, is an 80s and 90s music buff.
His articles on Christianity can also be found here:
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What does Psalms 23 means to me?
Green pastures are usually quite picture perfect in our minds. The grass is knee-high and extends as far as the eye can see. The comfortable temperatures and lovely blue skies above us may tempt us to doze off.
But let us take a moment to remember David and the place he called home. David lived in Israel for the rest of his life. He used to be a shepherd in Judea when he was younger. Later, he ascended to the throne and ruled from Hebron and Jerusalem. David, however, spent many years in the desert before the nation installed him on the throne.
Put your trust in the Shepherd.
David knew what it was like to be a shepherd when he wrote Psalm 23. He penned this song, however, from the perspective of a sheep. Judea serves as a stark reminder of how in need of a shepherd any sheep would be.
Sheep, who are reliant on a leader and protector, can feel vulnerable if they don’t have somebody to rely on. David realized this and shifted his gaze to God. Looking around this land, we could wonder about the meadows David was referring about.
Psalm 23 paints a lovely picture of who God is and desires to be for us. It’s simpler to observe how much more depth and meaning these soothing verses have in Israel. Even just to survive, we need God’s guidance.
The Pastures in the Desert
Consider a stray spike of grass in the desert. Warm air from the Mediterranean Sea sweeps across the desert at night. When that warm, humid air reaches the side of a hill or a rock, a tuft of grass can sprout overnight.
This clump of grass is only big enough for one mouthful. The sheep must then seek more from its Shepherd. What’s the next mouthful going to be? The shepherd leads His sheep with patience, making sure they have plenty to eat. We wouldn’t need a shepherd in that movie-like verdant meadow, I’m afraid. God is calling us to be dependent on Him in a culture that is so focused on self-sufficiency. Even in the wilderness, we may trust our Shepherd to take us to every mouthful.
A Psalm-like Trust
Have you ever had such faith in someone that you penned a Psalm in their honor? With all he needed to live, David relied on God. He didn’t publish anything about his personal life or previous connections. Because he trusted God to guide him in the correct direction.
For the sake of His name, He leads me down the ways of righteousness.
Yes, I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
I shall not be afraid of anything because You are with me.
Your rod and your staff are reassuring to me. (3:3b-4) Psalm 23:3b-4
The Hebrew term used in Psalm 23 for ‘paths’ is the same word used to describe someone walking in a circle. I’m not sure when the last time you visited a stony desert was. You can’t just run down a steep hill and expect to walk down.
The shepherd practically circles the mountain as he leads the sheep down. Sheep have eroded these trails into the sides of hills throughout time. When the Bible talks about “righteous paths,” it’s referring to this. This is how the sheep walked down the mountain safely, according to Psalm 23.
Following the Lead
We believe that the pathways of justice must be well-marked. We’d like it if the proper thing was self-evident. But, more often than not, there are numerous pathways, options, and choices from which to choose.
Maybe you’re wondering right now what the next best step is for you. That is why we need a shepherd to guide us. In every situation, he understands the best option.
This is my personal sharing on Psalm 23 and hope to encourage anyone reading this