Psalms 23

In Today's Reading:

The Great Shepherd; King of Glory; prayer for guidance; love for God's House; prayer for God's help; adoration of God's mighty power

David, the old shepherd-king who saw himself as nothing more than a sheep that needed to be led, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack anything). . . . He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake (Psalm 23:1-3). No other livestock requires more attention than sheep. Left alone, they can easily become separated from the flock and lose their way. Of all domesticated animals, sheep are the most defenseless and helpless. By nature, we are all like sheep. We may blindly follow the same paths that have ruined the lives of others. Or we can become so caught up in our own affairs that we lose sight of the Good Shepherd and find ourselves separated from Him (John 10:11,14).

The trouble with most of us is that many times we try to be our own shepherd. There is something almost terrifying about the consequences of the destructive, self-willed stubbornness of those who refuse to be led in the paths of righteousness. They are determined to go their own way, even though the path they take will inevitably lead to trouble. It is a fact that without the Good Shepherd we are helpless, defenseless sheep. When we recognize this we will fully trust the Good Shepherd. We are comforted and encouraged by knowing that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me (Psalm 23:4).

Even Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me (23:4). We know that whom the Lord loveth He chastenEth (disciplines) (Hebrews 12:6).

The utmost desire of every one of God's sheep should daily be bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5). God will guide and provide for every need that will better prepare us for eternity with Him.

We should pray each day: Lord, lead me in the paths of righteousness for His (Your) Name's sake (Psalm 23:3).

Christ Revealed:

As our Shepherd (Psalm 23). Christ called Himself the Good Shepherd and vowed to lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:11).

Word Studies:

26:1 slide =b> waver, fall; 26:2 reins =b> inner self; 26:4 dissemblers =b> pretenders, hypocrites; 28:2 holy oracle =b> Holy of Holies in the Temple (inner sanctuary); 28:3 mischief =b> malice.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Staff: Diana Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) and Rep. Collin Peterson (MN) Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6).

Optional Reading: Colossians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 2:8