Understanding the Meaning of Psalms 23

Psalms 23 is an amazing picture of what it is like when God is directing our paths. It is filled with a comforting message about how good God really is. It talks about how, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness…” (Psalms 23:2-3). What is so amazing is how the emphasis is on the Lord. Notice the constant quote of what God does. He makes me lie down, he leads me, and He restores my soul. The life of the believer is filled with hope because of what God does.

The gospel of grace is a message about what Christ has done and not about what we do. When we try to do it on our own we can see what happens. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for You are with me…” (Psalms 23:4). Did you notice the difference? I went from, “He leads me” to, “I walk.” I truly believe that when we face trouble in this earth it is not a result of God’s leading. Everyone has their own choice about their path in life. Simply because we find ourselves in a valley of the shadow of death does not mean God desired it. In fact, He desires good for us. What makes God such a good father? Because even when we make the wrong turn, God remain with us.

The end of Psalms 23 tells us, “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalms 23:6). This word for lovingkindness is the Hebrew word, “Hesed.” This word was so amazing that the translators used two words to describe it.

In fact in John 1:14 it tells about how Christ was full of, “grace and truth.” The word used for grace in the Hebrew Bible is the word, “Hesed.” So it says that Christ was full of, “Hesed and truth.” Now when we look back at Psalms 23 we can see that God’s goodness and grace will follow us all all the day days of my life! Why? It is all about Him!  He leads me, He guides me, and He makes me lie down in green pastures.

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