Psalm 23 is one of the most popular chapters in the Bible and many have said it is one of the wonders of the literary world.
It is so deep that scholars are perplexed and yet so simple that children can enjoy it. However, in all of its beauty and profound wisdom, we should pray that we do not lose our reverence for its interpretation. It is easy to allow familiarity to make us cold and indifferent to chapters such as this and others like John 3, Romans 8, and First Corinthians 13. Being spiritually lukewarm is deceptive and It simply means we are not on fire and have allowed our fervent excitement to become as smoldering embers. When we come to the place where we begin to roll our eyes and say that we have heard something a thousand times and think that we know all there is to know about it, then we have lost our passion and love for it.
Let us consider the first verse. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We notice the passage does not ask if the Lord is our shepherd, but rather it states that He already is. I personally see this beautiful Psalm as a prayer confession of faith. As a minister, I’ve asked many people to say this chapter with me especially at funerals because they are comforting, but they are also words that publicly declare that we are His sheep and we follow His voice. I wonder how many people have read these words and have never given serious thought as to what they really mean? It’s common for pastors to ask gatherings of people to quote this chapter with them and this includes those who are not a Christian, but what about those who claim to be a Christian and yet are not actually following Him? Let’s look carefully at each word of the first verse.