We have all heard and read Psalm 23
We have heard messages preached
and lessons taught on it
This is what I found when I dug deep into the definitions of the words
(and anyone who knows me for about 5 minutes, knows how much I love digging into definitions ;) )
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
If ever there was a Word that echoed the cries of my heart -
God, this Psalm 23 is it - for this place, this apartment, this time of my life.
The Lord is my Shepherd (to feed, guide and shield me);
I shall not lack.
He makes me lie down in (fresh, tender) green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
He refreshes and restores my life - my self;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness (uprightness and right standing with Him - not for my earning it, but) for His Name’s sake.
Yes, though I walk through the (deep, sunless) valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear or dread no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My (brimming) cup runs over.
Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life;
And through the length of days the house of the Lord (and His presence) shall be my dwelling place.
*It is difficult for those living in a temperate climate to appreciate, but it was customary in hot climates to anoint the body with oil to protect it from excessive perspiration. When mixed with perfume, the oil imparted a delightfully refreshing and invigorating sensation. Athletes anointed their bodies as a matter of course before running a race. As the body, therefore, anointed with oil was refreshed, invigorated and better fitted for action, so the Lord would anoint His “sheep” with the Holy Spirit Whom oil symbolizes, to fit them to engage more freely in His service and run in the way He directs, in heavenly fellowship with Him.
For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of Life; and God will wipe every tear away from their eyes.
- tend to
- to herd, feed and guard
- give guidance
- carefully manage
- direct in a particular direction
- be in prostrate position in order to rest or sleep
- to accept without protest
- to restore the vitality of
- tender, fresh
- to retire
- to use sparingly
- grazing, feeding
- making no noise or disturbing sound
- to make tranquil or peaceful
- calm, serene
- lull, soothe
- freedom from disturbance or tumult
- free from activities or distractions
- free from worries
- to provide new vigor and energy
- to stimulate
- to freshen in appearance
- to restore to a better condition
- to scrape the edges of a wound to promote healing
- to assist in traveling through
- to reach a destination in an unfamiliar area
- to accompany and show points of interest
- to manage, govern, rule
- implies continuous presence
- to bring onward in a course, by contact
- to lead the way, having been there before
- to control the movement by physical action
- a stick for walking along
- a stick used for fighting
- a crafted club whittled from solid wood, with an enlarged knob at the end
- a long and sturdy stick with a hook at one end
- used to manage and catch from straying, to reroute
- an aid to balance
- used to rescue one in danger
- signifies power
- a support
- to put in proper condition
- to provide
- the exercise of ingenuity and inventiveness
- to make someone ready & able to deal with something
- to sanctify, set apart
- to empower
- to protect
- with a Shepherd: sheep were often bothered and made filthy by lice and insects, which could even kill the sheep if the insects made their way deep into the sheep’s skin or ears. The shepherd would pour oil on the sheep’s head, making it too slippery for the insects to crawl so they would just fall off.
**The burden for arrival at the destination is not placed upon the sheep.
They are fearful, witless, and wayward.
The burden is upon the shepherd.
It is up to him to guide, to care, to protect, and to bring them to the destination.
Pearls of Wisdom
I have often heard the term "pearls of wisdom", but giving little thought to why they were called that.