“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even 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.
You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of
When Christ redeems us, He becomes our shepherd. It is humorous that often in scripture, followers of Christ are referred to as sheep, since Jesus is referred to as the great shepherd. Sheep, if you think about it are not viewed as the smartest of animals. They get spooked quite easily and behave timidly. If left in a pasture all day to graze on grass they would be content to stay put and they tend to stick together to avoid being alone.
In the first paragraph of verses in this Psalm, it is easy to notice the sense of peace in the Psalmist’s words. When led by the Lord to lush areas to experience calm and soothing environments, it is easy to feel safe and joyful. When we feel satisfied and things are going our way, it is so easy to feel the presence of the Lord. When we get into challenging situations do we react with the same mentality?
Look at the second paragraph. Do you have confidence in God’s protection and comfort over your life where you could actually say those words and believe them wholeheartedly? When we walk through troubled times and encounter scary situations, it is easy to wonder where God is.
1 John 4:18 says, “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
Believing the words of verse 4 allows us to walk straight into battle unscathed, intentionally reliant on God’s control to take our fear away. When this happens, evil flees. It senses the presence of the Holy Spirit and it cannot touch us. It is imperative to remember the powerful hold the Holy Spirit has over evil. By neglecting to give credit to His power, it is easy for the “what if” questions to take over. God does not put any fear within us. Fear, most certainly is the work of the devil.
James 4:7-8 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
2 Timothy 1:7 graciously reminds, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
The last paragraph in this psalm speaks gently of the reward waiting to be received, for those who put trust in the Lord and give no credit to the enemy. Even in the midst of facing your enemies, peace should still be the reminder of God’s blessings over you. The anointing over with oil indicates blessings to be received. This goodness comes to those who follow Christ. It is only through faith in Christ, this assurance can be embraced. From salvation on, our fears and the evils threatening to control our being on earth have no power over us. The Lord speaks goodness and mercy over us and if we are faithful, we will dwell with Him forever.
When life gets tough and situations bring you fear, walk through them with your head held high with confidence knowing you are not alone. The same power that conquered the grave lives in you.
Romans 8:11, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”