Psalm 23. The next iteration in our epic story, the Bible, is a genre of writing by the kings of Israel, called the Wisdom literature. David and Solomon were not only famous kings during Israel’s climb to fame but they were also prolific writers. Psalms, a collection of poems, by David and Proverbs, a collection of wise sayings, by Solomon and others are some of the beloved literature that has been saved and have encouraged many through the centuries. Poetry allowed David to express the heights of faith and the depths of despair during hard times. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs so many love to read one a day for devotions. If combined with five psalms a day, the two books can be read through in a month.
One of David’s most famous psalms is Psalm 23 that starts, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” A famous painting is of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, holding the lost sheep having been found and retrieved. In Psalm 23, the Good Shepherd leads his sheep to good pastures, protects, heals, accompanies them through the valley of the shadow of death, and prepares a banquet for them. He is always there in the background of our lives!
The concept of the Good Shepherd has been contextualized by different cultures. The author of The 100 Essential quoted a Latin American that shared, “The Lord is my friend; he helps me find work for the day.” A person in Russia wrote, “The Lord is my taxi driver; he gets me safely through the streets of Moscow.” An Australian wrote, “The Lord is my loving mother; she takes care of me all day long.” And from India, “The Lord is my guru; he teaches me what I need to know.” (page 108). How might you describe how God accompanies, protects and provides for you in your life? Because of our relationship with God we need not fear the present or the future. Wow, that is a relationship worth investing in!