This is one Psalm that, in my opinion, should never be read at a funeral, it is all about life. This first section will be written out using the Amplified Translation.
- The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide and shield me], I shall not lack,
- He makes me lie down in [fresh tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
- Always remember, if the Lord directs you to go somewhere He will be there to lead you. If He is making things happen in your life, He will always be there.
- He refreshes and restores my life [my self, my soul]; He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him – not for my earning it but] for His Name’s sake.
- Yes, though I walk through the [deep sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide] , they comfort me.
- You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
- Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
The Lord is my shepherd This is relationship – A shepherd will always make sure you are accounted for, they make sure everyone gets back into the fold. This is the relationship that we are to have with Him.
I will not want This is supply – When we place our trust in Him He is faithful to make sure we have all we need.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures He makes me lie down…slow down…rest in Him. He desires for us to spend time, alone time with Him; to have an intimate relationship with Him. This is when true healing can take place in your life, when you rest in Him.
He leads me beside still waters This is refreshment – refreshment of your very soul, your body.
He restores my soul This is the healing – restoration.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness This is guidance – He will never lead you astray – He will always try and keep you close…it is us who often turn to wander off. We have to constantly be watchful to acknowledge which voice we are listening to…our voice or the voice of God.
For His Name’s sake This is the Purpose – The purpose is that you are doing all this for His Names sake…not your own.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death This is the testing – You have to realize that faith has no plan B. So if you say you are walking in faith and you have a plan B…you are most likely not walking completely in faith. It has no plan ‘B’ because walking completely in faith you are saying ‘ God I trust You…I have no expectation of what will be because I trust You. Regardless of what happens or what things look like…I trust You.”
Remember the story of the Three Hebrew young men [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego] – Daniel 3closeDaniel 3 Nebuchadnezzar's Golden Image 3:1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 3 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. The Fiery Furnace 8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. 9 They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. (ESV) : 16-17 – who were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace. They told the King, ‘…even if the Lord does not deliver us we will not bow down to you’….they had no plan B. They were operating completely in faith alone. Compared to our time here on earth vs our time in eternity, even if we live to be 100 years old – compared to eternity it is a spec of time in comparison. Do not get so attached to earthly things, work toward eternal things. The decisions we make will affect nothing that is already in the past – but they will affect what is ahead.
I will fear no evil again, this is protection.
For Thou art with me This is faithfulness – Even when we are unfaithful to Him He is faithful to us. Matthew 28:20closeMatthew 28:20 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV) – Jesus says “And surely I will be with you always, even to the ends of the age.”
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort meThis is discipline – You know the love of the Lord will discipline, just like a good parent. He disciplines us because He has such a great love for us.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies This is hope – Hebrews 6:19closeHebrews 6:19 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, (ESV) states, “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul…” An anchor is something that holds you in place, keeping you from drifting off course, floating to places you don’t want to be.
Thou anoints my head with oil This is consecration – Jesus desires of you and me that we would consecrate ourselves to Him. This means to set ourselves apart, to separate ourselves from the things of the world. He desires people who would be willing to separate themselves for nothing but the work that he has called them to do.
My cup runneth over This is His abundance – He is willing to give us over and above what we can ask for or imagine is possible!
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in His house forever! The Lord is so willing to give us a deep relationship, He is ever waiting for us to turn to Him – and He is always there waiting with open arms! He desires to give us a life filled with every good and perfect gift; to fulfill all of our needs – to the extent our cups will not be able to contain it…it will overflow! Allow the Lord to take first place in your heart today. He so desires a close personal relationship with you…nothing would make Him happier!
If you have never made Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of your life, do so today. Just repent of your sin and ask Him to fill you with His love and grace and forgiveness. Sometimes forgiving ourselves is the most difficult thing of all…He is more than able to help you with that too. Nothing is too difficult for Him, no problem or circumstance too great for Him to change and create something new out of it and you!
As a child picks a flower and pulls a pedal off saying, “He loves me”…”He loves me not”…God always says “I love YOU”. If no one has told you this, we are saying it to you right now, “We love you!” Receive His love and ours too!