The Luxury of Psalm 23

As I sat simply enjoying the presence of the Lord, I felt wrapped in luxury as Psalm 23 came to mind. Repeating that beloved Psalm to myself, I quickly saw the reason it popped up. This word from our heavenly Father assures us of all we need at any time. Let me give you my short interpretation of its wealth of contentment. Twice I have written extensively about this Psalm, going phrase by phrase. One so beloved we continually return to, don’t we? (The endnotes contain Scriptures for my descriptions in the Psalm.)

The Lord God is my Father[1], my Daddy who loves and cares for me more than anyone ever could[2]. He provides for me like a good parent provides for their little child. Therefore, I totally depend on Him. When I am tired and worn out, He lets me rest my weary head on His shoulder. He revives me with His refreshing Word so that I will know how to stay close to Him in dependence. I’m totally content[3].

Even when troubles come – and they come to everyone – my Daddy guides me as I walk through them; He gives me strength and endurance for all they bring[4]. Assuring me that any horrible situation cannot separate me from His love and care[5], I hang on tight to His hand, even as He holds mine securely[6]. As we walk this dark path together, my Daddy recalls other times He has protected me and reminds me He is much stronger than any enemy[7]. Right in the middle of all the enemy camp[8], Father God seats me at a huge banquet table with all kinds of delightful food. At first I’m afraid because all the enemies are staring hungrily at me[9], but then I look up. Love has built a Plexiglas house all around me so no enemies can enter. Only if I open the door to them can they join me.

Then I notice that my Daddy God has especially created me for certain jobs He wants me to do[10], things that won’t be a burden but a fulfillment to me. Even though I didn’t realize it, He has already equipped me so I can fulfill all the positions He has for me. Strange as it may seem, the troubles I’ve endured[11] made me stronger and gave me wisdom so I can help others in similar situations. Since Father God’s goodness and mercy[12] always go with me, I’m enabled to pass these on to others daily. I treat them the way I have been treated by my Father so they can know my Daddy God. I forgive them for hurting me because unforgiveness blocks me from realizing Father’s best for me[13].

This place in God’s presence is so luxurious and delightful that I’m determined nothing can distract me from it. I can’t ever get away from His love[14] but sometimes busy-ness can creep in and make me unaware of it. That’s where I must guard myself and maintain my heart[15] so I don’t forget this blessed place of perfect peace and love. Then one day I will wake up in heaven where no enemies can dwell, and all will be this total contentment without any distractions. Only Daddy God’s presence will fill the place with eternal joy and love[16].

I hope my explanation of the peace and security this great psalm brings me as I rest in my Father’s loving arms will inspire you to seek that same stillness in His presence. I’ll close with Psalm 23 from The Message Bible[17]

God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

Sandra Meyer

[1]     Matthew 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (NIV and all others unless noted otherwise.)
Matthew 6:9 With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. (MSG – see last endnote) [Remember, Jesus Himself told us to pray like this.]

[2]     John 3:16-17 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (Amplified Bible)
John 15:13-14 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. (NIV and all others unless designated)

[3]    Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

[4]    Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV and all others unless stated)
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (New King James)

[5]    Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[6]    John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

[7]   1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

[8]    2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

[9]    Psalm 23:4a Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

[10]    Psalm 139:13, 15-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Romans 11:29 God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
I Corinthians 12:7-11 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

[11]   James 1:2-4, 12 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

[12]   James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

[13]   Psalm 66:18-19 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

[14]    Hebrews 13:5 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (New King James)

[15]    Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

[16]    John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
Romans 8:20-21 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

[17]  THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “The Luxury of Psalm 23

  1. John Overton says:

    Your personalized thoughts from Psalms 23 is so warm and encouraging. Each morning after I close the door of My Secret Place, I remain silent for a while and let my mind meditate on Him. His Grace is So Amazing!
    I always include you in my prayers before I reopen the door of My Secret Place. Sincerely in Christ, Your brother. John O.

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