My Dear One
Let’s study Psalm 23 together as I promised in my previous letter.
Before reading a passage, ask the Lord to reveal truths to you out of His word. God’s truths are not comprehended by powers of reasoning, but spiritually discerned as the Spirit reveals them (John 16:13).
What is the passage about?
Facts: As I shared in my previous letter, by marking every reference to God as we read through this passage we glean certain truths from David’s worship that we can apply to our lives.
What does it mean?
Principles: God is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep (v1). With God as our Shepherd, all our needs are met (v1). God provides food and drink (v2). He restores our troubled hearts to a peaceful state (v3). He guides our actions and decisions according to His ways (v3). No matter what we go through, God is present with us, and we have no cause to fear (v4). His shepherding tools – rod and staff – give us comfort (v4). Even in the most adverse circumstances, God blesses us abundantly (v5). God is always good to us, and always loves us, all our days (v6), and we will live with Him eternally.
What does it mean to me?
Application: These are profound and comforting truths about God and His role in our lives. To make it applicable, think about each description of God; and see how it fits your circumstances.
For example, what is your greatest need? God is a capable and loving Shepherd and anticipates and meets ALL our needs. Examine every lack thoroughly, asking: Is it a need or a want? God is not obligated to provide all we want.
God provides rest and restoration. Do you lay all your cares at His feet? Or do you rush through life hurried and harried, chanting, “I’m so busy!”
When you don’t know what to do? Do you ask God?
Are you fearful? Choose to believe that God is with you.
Let’s take a closer look at principles (back to Question 2) addressed in this passage:
• Dependence: We were made to depend fully on God. Sheep are helpless without their shepherd. They can neither care for, nor defend themselves. All a sheep really has going for it, is a caring and capable shepherd.
• Fear: The only antidote to fear is an awareness of the presence of God. Fear not, and fear God.
• Enemies: Conflict is unavoidable in life. Be sure you align yourself with God, seek to please Him, and watch Him take up your cause.
• Eternity: David has glimpsed that those who are God’s will live forever with Him in heaven. By accepting Christ, you are God’s child!
Let me point out a nugget in verse 6. The verb, “follow” describing goodness and mercy, is more accurately translated “pursue.” Picture God’s goodness and His mercy as hounds hot on your trail, and at your heels! Such word studies can be conducted as prompted by the Holy Spirit, using free online resources such as “blueletterbible” that open up the original language, and provide richer insight. My caution: Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you first and supplement with additional resources.
Whatever God reveals to you as you study, pray about it; ponder it off and on all day – this is meditation; ask yourself questions and ask God questions; and allow the truths to change your mind and thereby change you.
As the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:18, May the Lord open the eyes of your heart, so that you may behold wonderful things from His word. And may His truth set you free (John 8:32).
God loves you! You are so precious to Him. You can depend on Him.
Siyan Fayiga is a guest columnist of the Waxahachie Daily Light. She resides in Allen, Texas with her husband of 17 years, and their three children aged 13, 14, and 15. Siyan owns a business in Waxahachie, and her husband has practiced medicine in Waxahachie for more than 16 years. She teaches a ladies’ community Bible study, which meets at Chick Fil’A on 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 7 a.m. Comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.