Short Thoughts: Week 29 – Days 197-203

Day 197      Foundations: The Blessed Man/Woman



Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.   Psalm 1


There are 150 Psalms which can be divided into five Books. Some scholars see resemblances to  the five books of Moses, as follows:                                                                   Book 1 – Psalms 1-41           – corresponds to Genesis: foundations                                   Book  2 – Psalms 42-72- corresponds to Exodus: redemption                                                    Book 3 – Psalms 73-89 – corresponds to Leviticus: worship                                                                                                           Book 4 – Psalms 90-106 – corresponds to Numbers: wilderness                                                          Book 5 – Psalms 107-150 – corresponds to Deuteronomy: 2nd law  

The Psalms are poems that were set to music. Most of the Psalms were written by David, one or two by Moses, and one or two by Solomon, plus others by royal choirmasters. Ray Steadman in Folk Psalms of Faith (1973) says this: “There is no book like the Psalms to meet the need of the heart when it is discouraged or defeated, or when it is elated or encouraged…The Psalms are helpful simply because they teach us how to find our way through many types of problems.” [Note: for this series of “Short Thoughts”, Days 197 to 216, I have chosen the psalms Stedman uses in his book – not copying Pastor Stedman but using his selection of Psalms.]

Psalm 1 can be seen as an introduction to what follows. Like Genesis, it speaks about human life and human needs. It can be outlined quite simply: a. the righteous person (verses 1-3); b. the wicked person (verses 4-5); and c. summary (v. 6).

The righteous man or woman is “blessed”. What does it mean to be blessed? Jesus uses this word in Matthew 5, in the teaching we know as “The Beatitudes”- “Blessed are the meek…”, etc. It means “truly happy”. The truly happy person benefits from God’s favour in various ways, and, in turn, benefits others.

In Psalm 1, we learn what the blessed person is NOT (v. 1) and what the blessed person IS (v. 2). He/she is someone who avoids a compromising and sinful lifestyle. Indulging in the wrong type of life, with the wrong type of people, is dangerous. Avoiding such indulgence protects one from the sad consequences listed in verses 4-6. Notice how we get into trouble when we “walk” with the wicked (ungodly), “stand with sinners, and “sit” with scoffers. You can imagine the trend – from briefly walking with the wrong crowd, to lingering longer with them, to spending considerable time sitting with them (walkingstandingsitting).  Steadman explains that walking is like taking steps in one’s decision-making; standing refers to coming to commitments; sitting means we have settled into a way of life. And the people we are to avoid,  if we wish to be known as “righteous”, are called wicked sinnersscoffers. The wicked introduce us to a way of life that is removed from God and what He wants for us. The sinners are troublemakers, disturbing society – the godly man or woman does not do that. The scoffers (or “scornful” in some translations) blame others for all the problems in the world. They are the cynics – everyone or everything else (not themselves) is to blame. The person blessed by God is NOT this type of person.

What she or he is like is described in v. 3. The blessed person is certain things, namely:   – one who delights in the law of the Lord (v. 2). This individual enjoys the teaching found in the scriptures. She or he delights in the way of life taught by God in His Word. This person doesn’t think he or she is better than others. Rather, he or she sees that God is better and God’s ways are better, and that only God can make any of us better.  One way this happens is by meditating (v. 2b) day and night – to meditate is to chew over, to think through, to actively ponder (as ESV Study Bible puts it). When one does this, he becomes like a tree planted by water that yields fruit and does not wither. In the Middle East soil conditions are usually dry, a contrast to the picture here. The fruit this tree bears comes from roots planted in moist soil. The blessed person has dug deeply into God and His Word. Any fruit that comes from that person’s life is the result of spending time with God and listening and appropriating what God has fed into his or her life.

The wicked person is not like the blessed person of verses 1-3. That person is not avoiding getting involved with sinners and is not meditating on God’s Word. Thus she or he does not produce fruits like love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (fruits of the Spirit found listed in Galatians 5:22-23). This “wicked” person is like chaff blown away by the wind – chaff, not fruit. The end result is that she or he is not identified as part of the “congregation of the righteous”, one who fails to stand on judgment day – hence, one who will perish (vv. 4-6).

Summary: the blessed man/woman is known by God (v. 6), known in the sense of knowing a person deeply and approving of who that person is.

Your Turn :

  1. Read Psalm 1.

  2. How do you balance being an acquaintance or even a friend of an ungodly person (even with a desire to introduce them to Jesus) and getting deeply involved with such a person? When is it too much? When do you deliberately try to avoid this ungodly person? When do you maintain the friendship relationship with a goal to lead them to Jesus?

  3. What would meditating on the scripture look like to you?


DAY 198                 MAJESTY

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1

Psalm 8 Majesty

Before reading the text that follows, begin by thinking about these two questions:                                                                                                     What is the theme of this psalm (see verses 1 and 9).                                                            How is this theme illustrated? (verses 4-8)



In verses 1 and 3 the psalmist compares humankind with the glories of creation -the heavens and angels. The marvels of the sky are often the subject of biblical writers.                       > Nehemiah 9:6, “You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”                                                                                                                                                                                        > Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”                                                                                                                               > Psalm 33:6, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.”                                                                                                                                                                                                            >Isaiah 45:18, “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                         > Psalm 103:11, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                     > Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” 

Also, in Romans 1:20, it is said that people, even without access to the scriptures, can know God simply by looking His creation. – For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,  have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

So, according to these verses, by looking at the sky above, people have learned of God’s glory, God’s power to create, that He is the only Lord God, that He is love, and He has immeasurable power. God is glorious, full of majesty, and worthy of praise. “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name…!


The writer adds in verse 4-8 that mankind, though made a little lower than angels, is nonetheless crowned with glory and honour. How? By giving him/her dominion over creation – including animals (v. 7), birds (v. 8a), and fish (v. 8b). Hebrews 1:7-8 quotes Psalm 8:4-5, and sums up verse 6 by saying, “… putting everything in subjection under his feet.”


Lastly, in Psalm 8:2, God is praised by babies and infants. In fact, their praise “still(s) the enemy and the avenger”. Jesus applies this verse to His final entry into Jerusalem before the crucifixion (the triumphal entry). In Matthew 21:14-16, we read that children along the procession route called out, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” The chef priests and scribes were indignant, but to them Jesus said, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise.’ “.

The heavens, the creatures created by God, and little children all point to the glory of God.

Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 8.
  2. To answer the questions at the beginning, the theme is the majesty of God. And this theme is illustrated though mention of the glorious heavens, the animals, birds, and fish He has created, and the voices of praise issuing from young children.

  3. Think of some instances in your life when you have been led to reflect on God’s goodness and glory.

  4. In Psalm 8:6 God has given humans “dominion” over created creatures, and in Hebrews 1:6 that it says God has put everything “in subjection” to us.  Surely, this means that we have a responsibility to care for His creation.

Day 199      The Glory & Character of God

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14


Glory Week 20 Day 134

This psalm can be divided into three sections:

1 .Verses 1-6   – The Glory of God as seen in the heavens                     2. Verses 7-11- The Character of God as seen in His Word                   3. Verses 12-14- The Difference this makes in Me



The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,  which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.  Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

This paragraph sounds much like Psalm 8. The message is also repeated in Romans 10:18-19 where in v.18, Psalm 19:4 is quoted.                                              

In verse 1 David directs us to consider what a glorious and wonderful God we have. Just look at the sky! The sky “proclaims” God’s handiwork. Notice the use of words like declare, proclaim, speech, voice, words – in verses 1-4. One way God speaks to us is through His creation -be it by day or by night (v. 2). Sadly, not all listen when God speaks – “whose voice is not heard” (v. 3), though some do – in all the world (v. 4).

In the heavens, God has established the sun, and the heavens for a tent, or dwelling place, for the sun to settle into at night (v. 4b). In the morning the sun comes out of its tent, bold and ready for the new day, like a strong young man (“bridegroom…strong man”, v. 5). The sun shines everywhere; everything can feel its heat (v. 6). So, this amazing sky and sun say that God is to be praised, glorified, respected, and listened to.

2. Word of God

 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;  the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;  the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. 10  More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11  Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

There is nothing hidden from the heat of the sun (v. 6b) and now, in vv. 7-11, we are reminded that God has also given us His word to burn into our souls His truth. David uses six different terms to describe the word God speaks to us in scripture: law, testimony, precepts (or statutes), commandment, fear, rules (or judgments).


Here is how David Guzik explains each term in the “Enduring Word” online commentary       [ ]:

  1. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: The word of God is perfect. It gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). While it does not give us all knowledge, all the knowledge it gives is true and perfect. Understood in its literary context, God’s word is never wrong in science or history or the understanding of either divine or human nature.

  2. Part of the perfection of God’s word is that it is effective; it does the work of converting the soul. There is power in the reading and hearing and studying of the word of God that goes beyond intellectual benefit; it actually changes for the better –converts – the soul.

  3. The Hebrew word translated here as converting is perhaps better understood as reviving – that is, bringing new life to the soul. “First, God’s word ‘revives.’ Its restorative quality gives healing to the whole person by assuring forgiveness and cleansing and by giving life to the godly.” (VanGemeren)

  4. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: The word of God issure, being reliable and certain. As the psalmist would write in Psalm 119:89Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

  5. Sure, by its passive form, can mean not only what is firm but what is confirmed:cf.‘verified’ in Genesis 42:20.” (Kidner)

  6. Because it is so sure and certain, it does the work of making wise the simple. Many people of simple education or upbringing have tremendous wisdom unto life and godliness because they study and trust thesure word of the LORD.

  7. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: God’s word and the commands contained within are right. They are morally right, they are practically right, and they are universally right. They are right because it is the revelation of a God who is holy, true, and always right.

  8. Are right: “To make straight, smooth, right, upright, opposed to crookedness in mind or conduct; showing what the man should be, both within and without.” (Clarke)

  9. The one who knows the word of God and the God of the word rejoices  in this. He finds joy, actual pleasure in the truth of God and relationship with God revealed in His word.    

  10. The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes: Because God’s word comes from a God who is Himself pure and holy, the word itself is pure. A pure God can communicate no other way. We never have to worry about the word of God leading people into sin or impurity; if it seems to have happened, it is evidence that the Scriptures have been twisted (2 Peter 3:16).

  11. This pure word will enlighten the eyes. It will bring the cheer and comfort and knowledge and confidence that a light in the midst of darkness brings.

  12. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: The word of God is clean, and therefore is enduring forever. It will never fade or corrode, diminishing because of impurity. It is clean and it makes clean.

  13. Here David called the word of God the “fear of the LORD.” It is deeply connected to the awe and majesty of God Himself. One who reads and hears and studies the word of God, meeting Him in His word, will have an appropriate appreciation of God’s awe and majesty –the fear of the LORD.

  14. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether: David summarized this beautiful chain of seven pearls, each describing some aspect of the word of God. Here he declared that the words of God are true and righteous altogether; there is nothing false or unrighteous in His word.

With such great power and reward, it is no wonder that in verses 10-11 David concludes that God’s Word is more desirable than gold and sweater than honey.


3. The Difference this Makes in Me

One of the values of God’s teachings is that they warn us (“Moreover, by them is Your servant warned” (v. 11). That sentence leads us into the final section (verses 12-14). In this section we see what should be the effect of listening to God.

First, we come to understand that we are sinners who need protection from our natural inclination to “errors”, “hidden faults”, “presumptuous sins”, and “great transgression”. Most of us are slow to see ourselves this way. We tend to say we make some mistakes along the way but are ‘good’ people overall. “Who can discern his errors?,” the writer asks. We need to be more alert to failing to follow God’s laws, precepts, and commandments. By reading and meditating on God’s law, we see ourselves more and more like God sees us. Then, we lean on Him to protect us from allowing these sins to “have dominion” over us (v.13a).

So, the psalmist concludes with a prayer that his heart meditations and his words be acceptable to Him (v.14). Our thoughts and words are often far from the purity and kindness of God. God, he says, is his “rock” (protecting him from sinful thoughts and words) and “redeemer (forgiving him and saving him from sin).

God is a glorious God, the creator of the amazing heavens (Section A). He is the God who leads us in ways that are right, true, and life giving (Section B). We must respond one way or the other – with Him or without Him in our lives.

Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 19.

  2. What goes through your mind when you look at the night sky on a clear night, or at the bright sun during the day?

  3. In your reading and study of the Bible, can you recall a passage producing in you reviving of the soul, wisdom, rejoicing, enlightenment, cleanliness, righteous choices, helpful warnings? The next time you reflect on God’s Word look for one of these results.

  4. Do you include a time of repentance when you pray?

  5. Verse 13 mentions “presumptuous sins”. David Guzik, who was credited above for his commentary on this psalm, defines “presumptuous” sins this way:  “Things that make sin presumptuous: – When we know better. -When friends have warned us.  – When God Himself has warned us.  – When we have warned others against the same sins.  – When we plan and relish our sin.”



“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7


Psalm 201 HORSE and Knight

Israel’s King David lived a thousand years before Christ was born. In those days a warrior king would ride a horse and have armies of horses, some of them drawing chariots. The mention of horses and chariots in Psalm 20:7 is a reference to strength or power. But in this psalm, David says that horses and chariots are nothing in comparison to the God he trusts.

The Psalm is dedicated to the choirmaster. Verses 1-5, and verse 9 at the end, have the choir addressing the king. In verses 6-8, it is the king who speaks. As a whole, Psalm 20 is a prayer to God, asking for help in a time of trouble.

The choir reminds King David that God has promised to help in such times of trouble (v. 1). Notice the words “answer”, “protect”, “help”, “support”, “remember”, “favour” (verses 1-3). God is ready to do all those things. God sees David’s faithfulness in offering the required sacrifices in the temple (v. 3) and will reward him. God will grant the king’s desire and fulfill his plans (perhaps plans for a battle). He will give the king salvation from the trouble, resulting in joy. He will answer David’s prayerful petitions (vv. 4-5).

These reminders help David to gain reassurance. David says, “Now I know that the LORD saves and answers. God uses His “saving might” – power that is better than the horses and chariots of the armies of his day. These armaments “collapse and fall”. But those who trust in God “rise and stand” (vv. 6-8).

So, the assembly joins together in a shout of “God save the King” (v. 9) and a final request, “May He answer us when we call.”

Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 20.

  2. When you have a serious problem how can what you know about God help you?

  3. Is it worthwhile to pray to God?

  4. List a few things that you know about God that will be valuable to have in mind as you go out to face the challenges of the day.

  5. Why can a troubled person trust in God?

  6. Verse 9 can be seen as a shout of praise or worship. Praising God is something you can do alongside petitioning Him.


Day 201      –      The Suffering Messiah

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?               Psalm 22:1

Day 202 Suffering Messiah 

Leeds Cathedral, Leeds, England – opened 1904

The crucifix is the most well-known image of Christianity. It is so because it conveys the essential message of the Bible – the death of Christ on our behalf. Each of the gospels of the New Testament describe the events of the crucifixion (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19). And before the event happened, there were recorded Old Testament prophecies of Jesus’ death, among them Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. In this “Short Thought” we will consider Psalm 22.

The psalm begins with words that are familiar to many of us: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These words were spoken by the Lord while He hung on that cross, as found in Matthew 27:46. His sense of being forsaken is also found elsewhere in the psalm:

 “Why are You so far from saving Me? (v. 1)                                                                                   “You do not answer…” (v. 2)                                                                                                            “Be not far from Me.” (v. 11)                                                                                                            “…O Lord, be not far off!” (v. 19)     

Have you ever felt alone, far from help that you need? It is a painful feeling. Psalm 22:1-2 shows someone who is forsaken, far from God, not getting answers, and having no rest.

But, like many other psalms, the writer (David) Verses 3-5 brings some soothing thoughts to mind. He recalls that his forefathers trusted in God and were delivered. They cried for help and were rescued. Their trust was not misplaced. A holy and enthroned God can be trusted.

Then, David feels the pain of his experience and is downhearted (verses 6-8). He feels like a lowly worm; he is scorned, despised, scorned, and mocked. That is exactly what happened: “And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying…save yourself. If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross. So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders mocked Him, saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself…’” (Matt. 27:39-44; see also Luke 23:55, Mark 15:29). Again, David looks back to his infancy (vv.9-10) and thinks about how God protected for him from the womb. This helps him.

We go back to more expression of the sorrow of the cross in verses 11-18. Described here are mentions of trouble, loud persecutors, physical pain (bones out of joint but not broken, heart stressed, thirst, pierced hands and feet, as well as emotional trauma (evildoers encircling him, being stared at, their gloating, the casting of lots for his robe). These torments came true, as the Gospels describe:

“After this Jesus…said (to fulfil the Scriptures), ‘I thirst.’”….For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of  His bones will be broken’. And again another Scripture says,’They will look on Him whom they have pierced.; ‘ (John 19:28, 36-37) ;  “And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among them by casting lots.” (Matthew 27:35)

 The remainder of the Psalm is full of confidence and praise to God for deliverance. In verse 19-21, the writer cries out for deliverance and rescue. And in the last section (vv. 22-31) he receives the answer he was looking for. “I will tell of Your name…I will praise You…Praise Him…Glorify Him…Stand in awe of Him…For He has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted…but He has heard…” (and many other mentions of praise, satisfaction, and worship).                   

The message of this Psalm points forward one thousand years to Jesus Christ. The many precise references to the type of suffering the Messiah would bear show how exactly the Psalm applied to the Messiah. The words applied to David – and apply to us as well – but even more so to Jesus Christ.

Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 22.

  2. The psalm helps us understand the horrors of the crucifixion. This is what Jesus went through for us – the oppressive treatment and the excruciating pain of the cross, bearing our sin. At the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus told us to remember the broken bread and the wine, as symbols of His broken body and spilt blood (Matthew 26:26-29). We do this in the communion service. We are not to forget.

  3. Jesus knows the sorrows that we experience in our lives. “Surely He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:4)

  4. We, too, can apply the many reminders of this psalm to our lives, reminders of God’s care and compassion which are there seen when we don’t see them.

  5. We can have confidence in the plan of God. Prophecies still not fulfilled will be realized in their proper time.


Day 202 – Confident Provision, Part I

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1



Psalm 23 is no doubt the most familiar of all 150 Psalms. Many of us have memorized it. Almost everyone who has attended a Christian funeral has heard it read. It is considered a psalm of comfort. For this devotional reading, I would like to call it a psalm of confident provision.

The first verse boldly states the confidence that the psalmist (King David) has in his God. He calls Jehovah his “shepherd”. David well knew what the life of a shepherd consisted of and of the dependent relationship of sheep to shepherd. The word “shepherd” occurs 40 times in the King James Version and 56 times in the New American Standard Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus called Himself the “Shepherd” and his followers, “sheep” (John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”). This Shepherd provides sufficiently – “I shall not want.”.

How does the Shepherd provide for His flock? Verse 2 says He provides “green pastures” and still waters”. Phillip Keller in his well-known book, A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm observes that sheep will not lie down unless four conditions are met: not afraid, no friction among them, no flies bothering them, enough food. The shepherd sees that these conditions are met. There must also be peaceful waters nearby. The shepherd takes them to such a spot. Again, Keller, who worked as a shepherd, describes how a caring shepherd applies insect repellents to the sheep, dips them to clear them of ticks, and finds shelter in groves of trees or bushes. This, he says, takes time and steady observance.

How else does He provide? By restoring their souls and leading them in paths of righteousness (v. 3).  Charles Spurgeon wrote, “When the soul grows sorrowful he revives it; when it is sinful he sanctifies it; when it is weak he strengthens it.” Then, there is the guidance God gives His children. It is in “paths of righteousness”; that is, ways that lead to right living. Will we follow? Will we accept these ways? All of this provision is so that God’s name will be honoured, so that people may see the goodness of God.

What is the extent of God’s provision? It is through all kinds of circumstances, including vary hard times, described here as “through the valley of the shadow of death”. A valley can be deep; a shadow can be frightening; death can be beyond disturbing. But I Corinthians 15:55-56 says that God has given us victory over death through Jesus Christ’s own death and resurrection on our behalf: “Death is swallowed up in victory; O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?”

Verse 4 adds that we need “fear no evil” when God is with us. His rod and staff comfort us. The shepherd’s rod is like a walking stick, with a knob on the top end. The shepherd crafts it carefully and learns how to throw it accurately at an enemy, or perhaps to get the attention of a stubborn sheep. The tip of the rob can also be used to separate the wool, then running his hand while examining the animal for potential signs of problems. The staff is what we think of when you visualize a shepherd– a long stick with a crook for the top end. It is used to gently lift a young lamb, moving it to its mother or nearer the shepherd himself. It is also used to tenderly move the sheep into the right path or simply touch it as a sign of affection. God leads and protects, guides, and comforts.

In the first 4 verses of Psalm 23 we see the confident, reassuring protection and provision of the shepherd for the flock. Just so, God does these things for those who come to Him.

Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 23.

  2. Shepherds were not respected much in biblical times, but the Bible pictures God the Father as a shepherd to Israel, Jesus as a shepherd to believers, and church leaders as pastors (‘pastor’ means  ‘shepherd’) to the church in our day. David was the youngest son of Jesse and was ridiculed by older brothers for having the least important job of the family – that of shepherd. Jesus humbled Himself and is called the “good” and the “great” shepherd. As you discover this imagery in your reading of the Bible, think/meditate on how it is used and what it is saying to you about God’s care and direction.

  3. Notice the provision of physical comforts (green grass, water), emotional needs (release from fear) and spiritual needs (a restored soul).

Day 204      – Confident Provision, Pt. 2  


 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:5-6

The 23rd Psalm is a song of confident provision. In verse 1-4, we saw that God, the Shepard, provides for our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Whether those needs are met by green grass and cool waters, or met with comfort in the dark times of life, He is there for us. Now, in verse 5 the Psalmist adds that even when the enemy of our souls is at the door, there can be a bountiful table inside, in God’s presence, and more than a physical refreshment but also the spiritual overflowing of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. He commissions us with anointing oils. He honours us with His grace and enablement. He gives more than we need for living.

Finally, we are assured that all this provision is for all our days: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” This is true for sunny days and dark days. Spurgeon says, “Goodness supplies our needs, and mercy blots our sins.”

“All our days” includes the timelessness of eternity: “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” It is a wonderful thing to contemplate living in God’s presence forever!

In fact, there are many “forevers” worth contemplating. Read the following verses – all contain the word “forever” – and take note of what is being described as “forever”.

Forever Verses:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” I Chronicles 16:34

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“But You, O Lord, reign forever; Your throne endures to all generations.” Lamentations 5:19

“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” Psalm 119:111

 “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.“ I John 2:17

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

“For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.” Psalm 112:6

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm138:8

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14:16

“Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.” Jeremiah 3:12b

“Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:51

“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”  Micah 718 

“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20

“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.” Psalm 145:1

“The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Psalm 119:160

“To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” I Timothy 1:17

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111:10

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” II Timothy 4:18

“For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.” Psalm 37:28

[These verses were collected from “” at]

DId you see these things identified as being with us forever?

  • The character of Jesus Christ

  • God’s steadfast love

  • the word of God

  • God’s throne

  • the person who does God’s will

  • God’s praise and glory

  • God’s strength for us

  • the remembrance of the righteous

  • the Helper (Holy Spirit) whom Jesus left for us

  • God’s mercy and love – with the result that His anger at sin will not last forever

  • Our obedience to His commands will make things go well for us and our descendants forever

  • Life that comes from Christ, the Living Bread

  • Honouring of His name

  • God’s truth and rules for living

  • God’s saints

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” 


Your Turn:

  1. Read Psalm 23 again.

  2. What “forever” verse is most special to you?

  3. Think of the amazing goodness of God as described in this psalm and thank Him for it right now.