Daily Devotion – April 19, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 23
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
23:3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.

How powerful these 6 verses of scripture are! How comforting they have been to millions across the centuries since David wrote them 3000 YEARS AGO! Think of that – these 6 verses were already active in people’s lives when Jesus was a little boy.

The confidence that the Lord is caring for you, giving you peaceful rest, providing food and shelter, even restoring your soul – that is a caring Lord, all right. And the Lord is also on the lookout for your enemies and will protect you from them, and also honor you in front of them, protecting your self-esteem as well as your actual self – this is quite a Lord we have.

We bring this psalm out at funerals, to be sure, but what if we rested in it on regular days and just thought about the abundance the Lord is bringing to us every day of our lives. This psalm is lush and filled with generous blessing. We should hear it on ordinary days, not only days of danger or days of grief. Perhaps if we did, we would spend our days in more gratitude than we do.

3000 years ago, a king who spent his youth as a shepherd wrote psalms about keeping sheep and about his relationship with the Lord God Almighty. What would it be like if each of us wrote a psalm today about what we do for a living, and about what God does for us? I wonder if we might also produce lines that would comfort and give confidence?

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for inspiring the boy David to write psalms about you. Help us to create our own songs of praise and thanksgiving to you, so that we live our daily lives aware of your great abundance to us.   Amen.