|Psalms 23 |
1 [This Psalm is one of the most familiar Psalms in the Bible. We read its very beautiful words. From it, we hear an indication of good things. It comforts us in times of trouble. Yet we don't have a clue as to what it is really saying. To show the true gospel, the true hope, the true salvation — all described in the incredible meaning of the words of David speaking from the Spirit of God, I have commented on every verse, some in the footnotes below.] The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything needed.1 [The LORD is my shepherd: the Lord Jesus Christ leads me with his Spirit: his word and light in my heart. He prompts me what to do, where to go, what to say, when to say it. He gently corrects me when needed. Because he teaches me, I know more than my teachers, Psa 119:99-103. I shall not lack anything needed. Because he is my shepherd, I will never lack anything that I genuinely need. The promise is that if you seek the kingdom as your first priority, all your needs will be met; but everyone has to be honestly employed, which is what he helps people obtain — so that is the way he sees to it that your needs are met.]
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything needed.1 [The LORD is my shepherd: the Lord Jesus Christ leads me with his Spirit: his word and light in my heart. He prompts me what to do, where to go, what to say, when to say it. He gently corrects me when needed. Because he teaches me, I know more than my teachers, Psa 119:99-103. I shall not lack anything needed. Because he is my shepherd, I will never lack anything that I genuinely need. The promise is that if you seek the kingdom as your first priority, all your needs will be met; but everyone has to be honestly employed, which is what he helps people obtain — so that is the way he sees to it that your needs are met.]
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters. [He makes me lie down in green pastures; the Lord gives me rest. David had entered the rest from his own thoughts, words, and actions. He sits down in Christ Jesus. David no longer has to fight the enemies of his soul: lust, greed, immorality, anger, evil or profane thoughts, etc. As we rest, we hear his words to guide us; we feed on his words like a sheep eats the green grass. He leads me beside the still waters. He has given me (David) peace: quietness and confidence forever. I have the peace that passes all understanding. I have the bond of peace, which is the unity of the Spirit. In quietness and stillness I am in the presence of God, with his face before me, as revealed in my heart, as seen with my spiritual eye.]
3 He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. [He restores my soul. He restores David to the stature of Adam before he fell, to when he walked with God. Since David was before Christ's coming to earth, to open the Kingdom to men, David was still like Adam, subject to falling to temptation — as when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. But since the time of Christ, He now offers a forever cleansing and perfection; his Spirit is united with your soul in a Holy union to become a new creation; and then he has us sit down in Christ — sanctified, and protected from our enemies of sin. Though we can be tempted, we are no longer subject to falling to temptation because we become a part of Christ, who never fell, and never will fall. he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. He teaches me to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. He redeems me from all iniquity [lawless deeds], and has purified me to himself a new creation, zealous for good works; and he then leads me to accomplish noble and good works to his pleasure and glory.
4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. [Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, The world is the dimension controlled by the god of this world — Satan, the selfish spirit in man that lusts, lies, kills, steals, rages, covets, etc. Death is a daily event in the news of the world. Death stalks all men. The valley of the shadow of death is the world and the institutions of the world, including Babylon's beast with horns like a lamb, that imitates Christianity; which offers a covenant with Hell that shall be annulled and ends in death. The shadow of death is darkness; all men sit in darkness and walk in darkness until their hearts have been purged from the evil that defiles them. From the Word of the Lord within: "All sin is darkness. I have come as a light to the world so that whoever believes in me shall not abide in darkness. I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. The whole world lies in wickedness; the wickedness knows no shame. Darkness mocks the earth; darkness covers the earth."
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;. If one commits to seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness as their first priority in life, making it more important than food, clothing, or money, then you will have the protection of God. You will have nothing to fear, because the shepherd (Christ) watches over you. The shepherd controls the whole universe by the power of his word, and he makes all things work together for good to those who love him (obey him) and are called to his purpose.
your rod and your staff they comfort me. The rod is used to discipline a sheep, the staff to drag him back into line. When a man is seeking the Lord, even the pain of discipline can be a comfort. Just knowing that the Lord is still dealing with us, and has not abandoned us, even if it is a painful reminder, is reassurance and comfort. The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.]
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.2
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: for He Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. Not, not, not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let down (relax My hold on you)! Heb 13:5. That he would grant to us, that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-75. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever:They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev 20:4. You have made us kings and priests for our God, and we will reign on the earth; I saw a new heaven and a new earth. Rev 5:10, 21:1.... You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-6....He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. Rev 3:12.... But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Revelation 21:22. Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 1 Cor 12:27.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 It is a blessed thing for a man to know within himself, and from a living experience to be able to say, The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything needed. Such men have witnessed, (experienced), the truth of the sayings of Christ Jesus: my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow [obey] me, and I give them eternal life, so that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father's hand, John 10:27-28. It is as this voice is heard, obeyed, and followed that a leading out of that state, where the lacks (wants) are, into the green pastures, where the true and safe feedings are; where is the lying down in valley, where none can make afraid; where the bread is sure and the water does not fail, (from The Experiences of a True Christian, by William Shewen, a kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker in 1683).
2 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. While the demons watch and taunt, the Lord prepares a feast for me; the wedding supper of the lamb and his bride. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears me and opens the door, I will come in and sup with him. Rev 3:20.
Kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker Stephen Crisp spoke of the supper with Him:
If a man opens his heart and receives Christ when he comes, then you shall find such an alteration in that man, that go and try him with the same temptation which prevailed over him in the last week, it will not do so now; though he is as weak as water, and as prone to corruption and iniquity as before, yet now having a faith begotten in him, that the grace of God will defend him, he keeps out of the devil’s snares. Now this man trusting in this grace until his sin and iniquity is purged out, now is the time to spread the table; there is a clean heart, and the heavenly guest has now come, and the dainties of the kingdom are brought to him for his nourishment. Now, says Christ, I will come in and sup with him, and my Father will also come, and we will sup with him and he with us. This never happens to anybody so long as the table and heart is foul; for the table must be clean, and the devil and sin thrown out, and then will the Lord confirm and ratify, and seal the covenant; so that here is a seal with a witness. When a man has this testimony of the love of God, that God is reconciled to him in Christ, then Christ will come in, and he will bring his Father, and they will sup with him; and this is what will give complete satisfaction to such a soul.
(This is the true "Lord's Supper," not the sacrament of communion or the Eucharist invented by man.)
You anoint my head with oil; You anoint me with your Holy Spirit, whom you give to those who are obedient. By your anointing I know all things, and I need no man to teach me. 1 John 2:20,27, John 14:26. My cup runs over. You shower me with blessings beyond my fondest hopes.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter