Personal, Priceless, Precious

“The Lord is my shepherd”
Psalm 23:1a

Psalm 23 is the psalm of psalms. It has comforted literally billions of people over the last 3000 years since it was penned on parchment by King David. Psalm 23 was to King David what Amazing Grace was to John Newton – pure grace and peace!

The position of this psalm is priceless. Obviously it follows the twenty-second, which is known as the Psalm of the Cross. There are no green pastures, no still waters, no rod and staff to comfort. Only the shadow of death. It is only after we  read, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” that we can come to “The Lord is my Shepherd.” It is only when we experience the Suffering King through His blood-shedding and soul-piecing that we can know the Shepherd King.

What’s amazing to me when I think about Psalm 23, is no matter what season of life or circumstance of life we may find ourselves, it contains personal promises for each of us!

Have you ever thought of this as a personal psalm of promises? It really is the only way you can experience it!

There are no references to “we” or “us” or “they,” but only “my” and “me” and “I”. This is David’s personal testimony, his personal experience with God, as it should be for all God’s children. This is a dynamic truth that he weaves throughout his personal Psalm. We must cultivate the spirit of confidence in our Shepherd King. Keep in mind that our experience with God can never be powerful until it’s personal.

Something very important. This opening declaration is in the present tense. So whatever we may face in this life, we His sheep are always under the ultimate pastoral care of the Good Shepherd!

“You are My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, and I am your God.” Ezekiel 34:31

Psalm 23 is personal, priceless, and precious to me because it’s a green pasture for my weariness, a fresh stream for my spiritual thirstiness, a healing balm for my woundedness, and a never-failing light for my darkness.

I cannot lie down in green pastures, be led beside still waters, be restored in my spirit, be led in the paths of righteousness, walk through the valley of the shadow of death without fear, be comforted by His rod and staff, partake of His table of blessings in the midst of enemies, have my head anointed and my cup overflowing, have His goodness and mercy daily follow me, and dwell forever in the house of the Lord without knowing the Good Shepherd personally!

I love the story that I shared recently. Charlton Hesston was invited as the guest of honor at an elite gathering in Washington D.C. and he was asked to recite the Psalm 23 for all the guests that include Billy Graham. He said that he would only do it if Billy Graham would recite it too – and Billy Graham agreed. The wonderful actor recited the words beautifully, with great dramatic flair, and the room broke out with applause. Then the preacher got up, and with his tired voice and he recited Psalm 23, but when he finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Later on Charlton Hesston was asked what happened in that room, and he said, “I know the Psalm, but Billy knows the Shepherd.”

God bless you!

Pastor Dave

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