Psalm 23 is one of the more famous psalms written by David the King. This was the same David who took down Goliath with a slingshot and some smooth stones.
David was now King but he was also a musician and liked to write poems and songs. This particular psalm is about God being his Shepherd-King.
Keep in mind that David used to be a shepherd. He remembers how he lead and cared for a herd of sheep.
At first thought a King and a Shepherd are very different. When I think about a King I think of a royal crown, a large castle, servants, large fancy meals and a beautiful Queen. When I think of a shepherd I think of a servant who works in the fields with raggedy old clothes and a small bag lunch.
There is also something that a Shepherd and a King have in common too. They both take care of something. A King is supposed to look after and protect the kingdom of people under him and a Shepherd looks after and protects his herd of sheep.
A King might have fancier stuff than a shepherd but they both have an important job.
David might compare God to a shepherd because sometimes when we think of kings we think of someone snobby, who thinks he's way more important than us and he couldn't possibly know each person in his kingdom.
A shepherd on the other hand seems like a regular person that works hard and takes care and loves each of his sheep. We wouldn't be afraid to talk to a shepherd and could just be ourselves around him.
David knows that God isn't like the kings on earth so he compares Him to a loving shepherd taking care of his people so we can get a better picture of what God is like.
So, throughout this chapter even though David is talking about himself as a sheep. I think it was meant for us to read and see ourselves as the sheep and God as our shepherd.
After thinking about a shepherd I thought about sheep and how they completely rely on the shepherd for food, shelter and safety. Just like we need to rely on God.
You might think that your parents provide all this for you but your parents rely and trust in God to give them a job, money and blessings so they can give you what you need.
Another important point is that sheep don't know as much as a shepherd. If you really think about it sheep are pretty dumb compared to a shepherd. Compared to God we don't know too much either! God knows our future, He made us and the whole world.
The first part of the psalm David talks about God being his shepherd and he is the sheep. The shepherd makes sure his sheep has everything he needs like nice green grass and clean water. God gives him peace and rest because he can trust Him.
God keeps him on the good path. Even when there's rough times he doesn't have to be afraid. God is always with him and He can make him feel better when he needs it.
Then David talks about a banquet that God the King would prepare. There were lots of important, fancy banquets for kings and since David was a king he was thinking how God would treat him. (I don't think David is still referring to himself as a sheep).
God would prepare a banquet for David and protect him from his enemies. He would treat David like a royal guest and anoint him.
In those days people would get anointed to become king or if they were recognized as being someone special. David was trying to say that even though he was King, God recognized him as more than a king but as someone even more special to Him.
David ends by saying that he will continually be blessed by God with lots of goodness and love and he is looking forward to living with God forever.
God is our Shepherd-King and we are his sheep. God is guiding us, protecting us and He loves us. We don't know as much as God does so we have to trust Him.
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