Ps. 23- Marked Up Part 1

For years I knew Psalm 23 as a "go to" passage for someone who might be dying.  Or a passage of Scripture that most everyone knew.  Even Hollywood seemed to use it in their scripts now and then it was so common.

It was a passage in my Bible that stayed fairly mark free.  But not now!

 Over the past couple of years as my journey has taken me through a very difficult, despairing, and dark season... God has taken this passage and nestled it deep into my heart and soul.  It became my "go to" Scripture during some very difficult days!

The following is how it is now marked up in my Bible...
Ps. 23:1  "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want."

* not be in want... This doesn't mean we have no significant requests or needs.  It means being settled.  Settled that He knows my real needs and can be trusted with them.

Ps. 23: 2-3  "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

* For his name sake...
 Ez. 36:22-32 "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: 'It is not for your sake that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name...  I will show the holiness of my great name...  Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,' declares the Sovereign Lord, 'when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.'" 
---His guiding me to green pastures, quiet waters, restoration of my soul and guiding is not for my own prosperity and glory, but so that in all of those things I can point back to Him and His name/He can be lifted and glorified! 

 Ps. 23: 4a "Even though I walk through..."

* I don't stop or die there but I "walk through"

 Ps. 23: 4b "... the valley of the shadow..."

* for there to be a shadow, there must be light!  Even in this valley He is There!
John 1:4 "In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
--"Christ entered the shadows so that we wouldn't have to ourselves."  ~ Shelia Walsh

Ps. 23:4c "...of death."

* death literal translation here is "deep darkness".

Job 24:17:  darkness that people try to hide in to cover sin.
Ps. 107:10-14:  darkness that accompanies rebellion against God
Jer. 13:16:  darkness of God's judgement
Job. 16:16:  darkness of sadness, despair, depression...
Jer. 2:6:  darkness of physical places like a lonely desert
Job 28:3:  darkness of physical places like a mine shaft
Amos 5:8:  darkest moments of the night
Job. 12:22: He reveals deep things of darkness

Is. 9:2:  predicting coming of Jesus- the one who ultimately dispels spiritual darkness
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death (or land of darkness) a light has dawned."
Yes, I do realize we have stopped in the middle of a verse.  (Come on, who does that?)  ;-)   The rest of vs. 4 and the remainder of the Psalm to come in Part 2.
Is there any part of this that has encouraged or challenged your own heart?

What else do you see in Psalm 23:1-4c  that makes it real and applicable for your life today? 

And just curious, are you one to write and make notes in your Bible as well?


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