The 23rd Psalm
By Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D.
Almost certainly you recognize the 23rd Psalm, particularly as somebody reads it aloud you echo alongside in your thoughts. What a comforting Psalm David speaks as he experiences nice hardship even main him via what he described because the “valley of the shadows.” I’ve seen a real-life duplicate of the “valley of the shadows;” severely, in Israel. Center of the day, solar beating down on a street I used to be taking UP to Jerusalem, and there was a valley. Positive sufficient wanting down into that valley there was little to no solar, the shadows have been darkish and expansive, all consuming and breath taking particularly for such a shiny day. On the opposite aspect of the large valley was a monastery seemingly carved into the hillside. What gave the impression to be the one method into that monastery was journey via the valley then observe a path up the hillside to the doorway. Fascinating and eye widening! Typically life can throw a curve, and you end up strolling via your individual “valley of the shadows.” It may be lonely. It may well even be scary. All the time will probably be difficult, and fairly presumably sobering. I’ve been experiencing such a journey these previous few months, and I wish to share how the 23rd Psalm has turn into extra actual for me. Will you be a part of me now as I invite you to take a look at the 23rd Psalm in a extra intimate method? ~LJR
The Lord is my Shepherd …so what’s it prefer to be a sheep? Properly…they be taught to belief the shepherd, to look towards him for his or her safety and their finest curiosity. He leads them, and so they observe or submit (cooperate) with the shepherd. He factors the way in which wherein they’re to go versus sheep.
merely scattering in all path going it their method. This certain retains order and concord quite than chaos and disintegration. Even when the journey is thru a valley of the shadows, there may be order and peace for the shepherd leads, and the sheep renew their belief in him and so they observe; they be taught to decide on to depend on the shepherd and never their very own methods.
I shall not need … Like sheep, I gained’t expertise any lack; subsequently, nothing shall be lacking. “ROHI” – Shepherd in Hebrew, means my shepherd can be my pal, my good friend whom I can belief. Few view God as their good friend. Individuals for essentially the most half view God as stern, perhaps even mad or like a essential father – a drive to not be trifled with, revered, however clearly not a good friend. I would really like you to ascertain the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) within the entrance seat of your automotive with you driving. He’s sitting on the passenger seat subsequent to you. In your journey even via the valley of the shadows, the Lord and you’re speaking, smiling, and even laughing such as you did once you have been in highschool together with your finest good friend. “A*huva ye’ deed” (my beloved good friend who I can belief) and belief implicitly. The Lord is a shepherd the sheep be taught to not solely belief with their lives, however be taught He is an effective shepherd, a “mentsh” or dependable individual, compassionate and actual whom they’ll belief with their very life implicitly. David realized he may belief the Lord as his shepherd even together with his personal coronary heart, his personal fears, his personal tears, his jokes (corny or silly), and will belief his shepherd with the secrets and techniques locked away deep inside his coronary heart.
He makes me lie down in inexperienced pastures, he leads me moreover quiet waters, he restores my soul … not simply lie down however sprawl on inexperienced pastures, permits me to lie flat, to turn into completely weak and comfortable. Such vulnerability is tough for sheep (and other people!) given the varied threats abound. However they be taught to belief and to lean upon the shepherd for his or her safety. Studying to totally belief the shepherd, they arrive to some extent of with the ability to sprawl and lie flat, turning into completely weak, comfortable and in a position to relaxation from their journey, even a tough journey via the valley of the shadows. The sheep really feel protected, much more so, they know they’re protected and they’re comfortable. And they’re able to restore their power, their souls turn into quiet from the day by day grind, and they’re restored. The shepherd additionally leads moreover quiet waters, waters which can be refreshing and most calm, quiet and stress-free, soothing and even therapeutic. Clearly these quiet waters carry rejuvenation from the arduous journey and the continuation of extra to observe. The waters are nonetheless, however they transfer ever so barely calmly. The waters are quiet, however you possibly can hear a faint trickle that’s so soothing, stress-free, and rejuvenating.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his identify’s sake … The shepherd leads taking deliberate round paths of righteousness. Righteous “tsa’deck” for you and for me for the sake of His Title. Your finest good friend (the Lord, Yeshua) will get an excellent identify after we are proper due to our submission (cooperation) to His will, His methods. And as we journey via the darkish valley, we’re studying to yield to our shepherd and achieve what is correct, not what’s expedient and even simple, however what is correct as He prescribes. David acknowledges that God’s methods usually are not man’s methods.
Despite the fact that I stroll via the Valley of Darkish Shadows … (not valley of demise as King James Bible scripts). Image David, he simply had a really tough and life-threatening time with Saul and the Philistines. He’s sneaking again to his individuals, however David has to journey via a deep and most tough valley, navigate ravens not realizing who’s ready for him on the opposite aspect. David says that despite the fact that it’s darkish, I’ll worry no evil for you’re with me God. What confidence. What belief realizing your finest good friend is with you, and he has your again, you aren’t alone regardless of how tough and the way scary the journey. For what’s darkness to the Lord? Even darkness is like the sunshine to the Lord.
Your rod and your employees, they consolation me … they equally give me consolation. Your rod has taught me that you just stroll with authority, whereas your employees is carried as a weapon for protection and safety. Even your rod is employed to assist save; if a sheep falls right into a gap your hooked rod is employed to select him up by the neck and produce him to strong floor. How far more do you worth me and can decide me up and reposition me on strong land. I’m comforted on this information, and I additional relaxation realizing you watch over me.
You put together a desk earlier than me within the presence of my enemies … So I need you to ascertain calling in those that have achieved you mistaken, who’ve given you bother, who’ve damage you. You name them to come back to a banquet as your visitor, thereby, forgiving all expenses held towards them. David realized that is precisely what the Lord does for us.
You may have anointed my head with oil … David is proclaiming the decree the Lord of All is utilizing; His Messiahship anointing as He chooses to pour oil on whom He chooses, bringing life into them, bringing therapeutic into them, bringing shalom (peace) round and thru them, giving them a hope and a future the world can not give, and the valley of the shadows seems to have hidden away.
My cup overflows … Once more that is the King James Model. The cup NEVER runs over. The cup is satisfying, it’s quenching, it’s pleasantly filling and there’s no extra thirst. As we drink the cup renews itself by our Heavenly Father’s Hand. The cup NEVER runs out!
Solely goodness and mercy shall observe me all the times of my life … So if I turn into burdened, pissed off, even barely paranoid, I bear in mind and proclaim goodness and mercy are proper behind me. They’re following me faithfully. I don’t must look, to marvel, and certainly don’t must doubt which solely results in confusion and worse…worry! Goodness and mercy observe me identical to I observe the shepherd.
I shall dwell in the home of the Lord perpetually … The place else would I need to dwell? Why would I need to dwell anyplace else when I’ve realized the Lord has led me safely via the valley of the shadows, and I’ve come via the valley not solely intact and secure, however refreshed, renewed, energized, and with a correct confidence and intimacy all of the extra knitted between me and the Lord who’s my Shepherd and good friend.
David was a shepherd lengthy earlier than he turned a King. He realized about sheep…he knew sheep…he knew the hazards throughout ready to get at sheep. He realized how you can take care of the sheep, how you can reassure sheep, he obtained to know their particular person personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. If one turned misplaced he searched till he returned it safely to the fold. David knew about sheep! David additionally knew that God (Yahweh – The Lord, the correct identify for the divine individual; Genesis 2:4; Exodus 6:2, 3) cares deeply for every of us, our wants our safety, our being discovered if we stray. David knew a shepherd watches intently over his flock, and caringly guides them alongside the trail they’re meant to journey; not essentially the trail they need to select to journey. When David walked via his personal “valley of the shadows,” he knew deep inside this trial was powerful, sobering, even painful and scary. However he additionally knew the Lord was his Shepherd, he shall not need…. I’m studying what David knew, after which what he skilled anew as he traveled via his valley of the shadows expertise. Could I encourage you to take a look at what David wrote from a brand new perspective; from the angle of God as your pricey good friend and pricey shepherd, who is aware of your wants earlier than you ask, and your ignorance in asking? Could I encourage you to take a look at the Lord from a brand new perspective particularly in case you are in a relaxed area, no valleys, no shadows, and no worries. Look upon the Lord as your pricey good friend sitting within the entrance seat of your automotive subsequent to you when you each are occurring an journey, laughing and having fun with the expertise and companionship of each other. Look upon the Lord because the true Shepherd He actually is, the one David knew effectively and wrote about within the 23rd Psalm.
So whether or not you may have been a follower of Yeshua or sense a wooing in your spirit to come back to Him, might you start to know Him as your pricey good friend who shall by no means depart you or forsake you, who will journey as your companion via any valley of the shadows this life might carry so that you can crossover! Could you come to know the shepherd in such a private and profound method that no expertise(s) will stop you from strolling in and thru the valley with out your head held excessive and totally realizing the Lord is guiding and defending you, offering for you, and can even grant you relaxation and quiet waters that can restore you.
One closing instance of such intimacy and belief. Now have a look at the 23rd Psalm I’ve positioned under, however with YOUR NAME inserted. Go forward! Learn the 23rd Psalm however personalize it for YOU.
The LORD is YOUR FIRST NAME shepherd; YOUR FIRST NAME has all the pieces YOUR FIRST NAME wants. He lets YOUR FIRST NAME relaxation in inexperienced meadows; he leads YOUR FIRST NAME beside peaceable streams. He renews YOUR FIRST NAME power. He guides YOUR FIRST NAME alongside proper paths, bringing honor to his identify.
Even when YOUR FIRST NAME walks via the valley of the darkish shadows, YOUR FIRST NAME, won’t be afraid, for you’re shut beside YOUR FIRST NAME. Your rod and your employees defend and luxury YOUR FIRST NAME.
You put together a feast for YOUR FIRST NAME within the presence of YOUR FIRST NAME enemies. You welcome YOUR FIRST NAME as a visitor, anointing YOUR FIRST NAME head with oil. YOUR FIRST NAME cup overflows and fills once more with blessings.
Absolutely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue YOUR FIRST NAME all the times of YOUR FIRST NAME life, and YOUR FIRST NAME will stay in the home of the LORD perpetually.
LYLE J. RAPACKI, Ph.D. is an intelligence and risk evaluation specialist who offered briefings and consultations to members of the Arizona State Legislature from April 2010 via April 2018, on issues addressing southern Border Safety and associated threats to State sovereignty. His briefings, experiences, and consultations enlarged to incorporate elected and regulation enforcement officers throughout the nation. He now believes he’s to sound the Shofar of Warning to the Remnant Church Arising throughout the nation on the threats and challenges immediately forward. He’s the writer of the extremely profitable and quick-reading Amazon e book: “Our Forefathers Actually Appealed to Heaven” Amazon Kindle $10 and Kindle E-books $7.
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