Powerful and Personal

I asked on Sunday, “What does it mean to live in a Psalm?” At first, we might say, reading it, studying it, and memorizing it. But one can do all of this and still not be living in the Psalm. We begin to live in a Psalm when we meditate on it, pray through it, and (this is huge) we allow it to reach to the farthest, darkest, and most neglected corners of our hearts. Psalm 23, with dazzling diamonds of truth, and its gold nugget promises has that kind of potential. We know this because the 100 words in Psalm 23 were written from the darkest, furthest corners of King David’s heart.

As I shared on Sunday, David did something truly amazing in this masterpiece! He took this sacred name “Jehovah” and he connected it to the 7 great names of God in the Bible!

“Jehovah Raha” – “The Lord is my Shepherd”
“Jehovah Jira” – “The Lord my Provider”
“Jehovah Shalom” – “The Lord my Peace”
“Jehovah Rapha” – “The Lord my Healer”
“Jehovah Tsidkenu” – “The Lord my Righteousness”
“Jehovah Shamma” – “The Lord my Presence”
“Jehovah Nissi” – “The Lord my Victory”

Remember I shared on Sunday that this Psalm is the only place in the entire Bible where we can find all the sacred names of God in one chapter.

Now read the Psalm and meditate on this fact for yourself.

No wonder Charles Spurgeon wrote in 1857, “Psalm 23 is the pearl of psalms whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye. It may be affirmed that its piety and its poetry are equal, but its sweetness and its spirituality are unsurpassed.”

The sweetest word in this Psalm, next to “Lord”, is “my.” David does not say, “The Lord is the shepherd of the world, and leads forth the multitude as His flock,” but “The Lord is my shepherd” as if the Lord is a shepherd to no one else - He is a shepherd to me; He cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me."
 
These words are written in the present tense, so that whatever we face, or wherever we find ourselves, the Shepherd has me under His pastoral care of love and mercy and grace.

Because of this refreshing truth, I can substitute the word “my” and replace it with my name: "The Lord is Dave’s shepherd." And so can you, if you have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Remember our key thought that we are weaving into the fabric of this series – our experience with God can never be powerful until it’s personal.

God bless you,

Pastor Dave

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