100 Verses

87. Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. —Psalm 23:1

Psalm23_1

The Twenty-third Psalm has been a source of strength and comfort for three thousand years. It is the most beloved poem in history, the most memorized passage in the Bible, and the most vivid allegory ever written. Some years ago when I went through a difficult period and couldn’t sleep for anxiety, I found rest at night by repeating this psalm in my mind. It had a calming power found nowhere else.

As a boy-shepherd, David saw that his relationship with his flock was like the Lord’s relationship with him. He was utterly dependent on someone to care for him.

Unlike many animals, sheep can’t make it on their own. They can’t fight with their hoofs or teeth. They can’t track down food. They can’t run very easily, or dig holes, or climb trees to escape predators. They can’t kick or bite. They need a shepherd to care for them, just as we do. That’s why Psalm 23 doesn’t say, “The Lord is a shepherd,” or “The Lord is the shepherd.” It says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” And if He is my Shepherd, I will not lack.

  • I shall not lack peace and provision, for He gives green pastures and still waters.
  • I shall not lack hope and encouragement, for He restores my soul.
  • I shall not lack guidance, for He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
  • I shall not lack deliverance in tough times, for He’s with me even in the valley of shadows.
  • I shall not lack protection, for His rod and staff comfort me, and He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
  • I shall not lack help and healing in all the events of life, for He anoints my head with oil.
  • I shall not lack endless blessings, for my cup overflows, and goodness and mercy will follow me all my days.
  • I shall not lack eternal life and heaven, for I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Memory Tip

If you’ve already memorized the Twenty-third Psalm, why not learn it in a singable version? One of the most famous British hymns is the Scottish version of Psalm 23, set to the tune “Crimond.” The first stanza says: The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want; He makes me down to lie / In pastures green; He leadeth me, the quiet waters by. It’s easy to find both the words and tune on the Internet; and it may become one of your favorite hymns, as it is mine.

Three thousand years have passed away since David sung this sweet song, and yet it is as new and fresh as if it had come to us this morning. —J. Wilber Chapman

100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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