The Psalms are poems set to music – Israel’s hymnbook – and are meant to be sung. They are creative words with rhythm and structure; the imagery is powerful: life is a dance of praise, a storm of trouble, death coils that entangle. The Lord is a warrior king, a caring mother bird hiding her children under her wings, a rock, a light, a hiding place. The Psalms were woven into the life of God’s ancient people Israel, used to escort kings into Jerusalem, to sing gratitude for bringing in the harvest, to cry out for rescue and mercy, to express the wonder of God and His creation. They were sung as the pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem for the Feasts of the Lord three times each year. They speak to the joys, hurts, sorrows, and fears of every human soul.
The Three Shepherd Psalms (22, 23, 24)
Psalm 22: The Suffering Savior –The Good Shepherd – John 10:1-18 – The Savior’s Cross
Psalm 23: The Living Shepherd – The Great Shepherd – Hebrews 13:20, 21 – The Shepherd’s Crook
Psalm 24: The Exalted Sovereign – The Chief Shepherd – 1 Peter 5:4 & Revelation 19:11-16 – The King’s Crown
- The Lord is my shepherd. Jehovah-rohi – The Lord our shepherd – John 10:11
- I shall not want (I shall lack nothing). Jehovah-jireh – The Lord will provide – Gen 22:14
- He makes me to lie down in green pastures,
- He leads me beside the still waters (I shall not lack peace.) Jehovah-shalom –The Lord our peace – Judg 6:24
- He restores my soul (I shall not lack restoration). Jehovah-rapha – The Lord who heals – Ex15:26
- He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake – (I shall not lack guidance). Jehovah-tsidkenu – the Lord our righteousness – Jer 33:16
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me (I shall not lack courage in the dark hour).
- Your rod and Your staff they comfort me (I shall not lack true comfort). Jehovah-shammah – the Lord ever-present – Ezek 48:35
- You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (I shall not lack protection, preservation, and honor). Jehovah-nissi – The Lord our banner – Ex 17:15
- You anoint my head with oil (I shall never lack joy).
- My cup runs over (I shall never lack fullness of blessing).
- Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (I shall not lack Divine favor during my earthly life).
- And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (I shall not lack a heavenly home when my earthly journey is over).
(Handout from Women’s Ministry luncheon in March 2021.)