The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, 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 runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord to the end of my days. (Ps 22 LXX/23 Mes)
A few observations struck me this morning as I lay reciting this beautiful passage of Promise…
Christ is our Provision
The overarching theme is this: the Lord has given us ALL things, therefore we should not be lacking. In Christ, we have EVERYTHING needful for life and godliness.
as His divine power has given to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
The Divine Energy of Christ!
When Jesus was lifted up, He began drawing every person to Himself and the Father, to His kingdom, and to seeking the righteousness found only in Him. This doesn’t mean all will answer the invitation, but let us be careful and quick to answer and obey. And for those who change the focus of their life to now live for God in Christ rather than for themselves, the Spirit of Christ leads us into righteousness. But why does He lead us “in the paths of righteousness”? For HIS name’s sake, not ours! It is that He would be glorified, not us primarily. We love Him because He loved us FIRST and have Himself for us as a sweet smelling sacrifice unto God.
This is why, since we are bought with the price He paid, we are no longer to live for ourselves. Our life is no longer our own, but for Him to live through us. In other words, it’s not enough to just “do the right thing,” but to be living for Him and for His Kingdom to be established in the hearts of all who will surrender their life to God. When this happens, power — divine energy — is infused into the surrendered vessel and the Life of Christ begins to be revealed through that servant of His.
The Lord is Personal, Relational
He wants us to walk with Him in a personal, not impersonal relationship. Have you ever noticed the dramatic change from third person to first person in this psalm? Notice how God is objectively referenced in the first half of the psalm, but after walking through the “valley of the shadow of death” David is now praising God directly, not indirectly.
When we go through dark times, through low murky moments and the enemies seem to multiply around us, this is when God is no longer talked about as He or Him, but men and women of all sorts cry out to Him by name, personally appealing to the One Who has revealed Himself to all of humanity. This is where we should abide.
How great THOU art, O Lord!