Psalms DAY 21

DAY 21 - The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23

Trust is the foundation of all relationships, even our relationship with God. “I trust you” is a prayer in many of the psalms. It’s most obvious in the most famous psalm, Psalm 23. 

Something about this prayer-song has connected with generations of believers. Maybe you’ve seen it hanging on someone’s wall. Surely you’ve heard it at a funeral. Maybe you even memorized in the old King James: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…”

Pause for a second on that opening phrase: “The Lord is my…shepherd.” I wonder…how would you fill in the blank? “The Lord is…” what? The Lord is my…friend? Helper? Savior? Rock? Refuge? Father? Comforter? What’s the truth about God you need to say and you need to pray? 

Psalm 23 runs with, “The Lord is my shepherd.” You could see shepherds herding flocks in ancient Israel like you can see corn today in Illinois. This is a common picture in the Bible: God’s people are compared to sheep, leaders - including God - are compared to shepherds. Many of Israel’s leaders were labeled bad shepherds because they took advantage of the people they were supposed to care for. People under bad or absent leaders were compared to “sheep without a shepherd.”

Several psalms confess that “we are [the LORD’S] people, the sheep of his pasture.” But the psalmist doesn’t say “OUR shepherd,” he says “MY shepherd.” His prayer of confidence takes what we confess together about God and makes it his own. He prays the truth about God.

What word would you use to best describe God? Fill in the blank: “The Lord is my _____.”

Teach me, Lord, how to trust you and how to pray my trust. Amen.

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