Scripture encouragement: Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Psalm 23 (Kings James Version)
Why this scripture encourages me…
These verses, penned by David, encompass all we need to know about God. They tell us who He is: our shepherd. They tell us how He cares for us: by providing green pastures, leading us beside still waters, restoring our souls. They tell us He will show us the way we should go. He gives us all these lovely blessings because of Who He is, not based on our ability to earn them.
We learn early in life that death will come to us and to those we love. Yet God is with us even in the valley of this knowledge. He comforts us—if we allow Him to. He prepares a table for us! He anoints us! Just as David was assured that goodness and mercy would follow him all the days of his life, we too can be assured.
“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” are the most comforting words I’ve ever read.
(I chose the King James version of this Psalm because it is the one I heard the first time. It remains my favorite version.)
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Image: composite of photo taken by Robin in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in Colorado (background), and an original oil painting by Tom Lybeck: Joyful Presence (lamb)