When I Need Comfort Psa. 23:1-6 Oct. 04, 2009
In my Hebrew class at seminary 35 years ago the assignment included translating this Psalm with some new verifiable translation. It seemed like an awesome task. But the Lord led me to translate the sixth verse as, “surely goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life,” and not, “that goodness and mercy would follow me all the days of my life.” Back then no one had used that verifiable translation. You can see that since then The HCSB does use it. I think it is helpful to note God’s goodness and mercy pursues us. In our community a man recently was trapped in the wreckage of his car and burned to death. His wife told me the Bible tells us to put on the garment of praise. I believe she would say, if asked, I know where to go When I Need Comfort.
1. When I Need Comfort The Lord Provides The . . Pasture I Need. Psa. 23:1-2
A. The Lord Provides The Pasture Where I . . Lack Nothing. v 1
1 The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
B. The Lord Provides The Pasture Where I . . Lie Down. v 2
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
David wrote this psalm reflecting on his days as a shepherd. He knew a shepherd needed to provide pastures for his sheep so they lacked nothing, The Lord likewise had done that for him. There are times sheep need a place to lie down by green grass and quiet waters. I am told sheep will not rest well where the water stirs and makes a lot of noise. God’s children need rest in a place like that and David knew God gave him such a pasture. The stress level many people live under would benefit from a peaceful pasture like this text talks about.
2. When I Need Comfort The Lord Provides The . . Paths I Need. Psa. 23:3-4
A. The Lord Provides The Paths For His . . Name. v 3
3 He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name's sake.
B. The Lord Provides The Paths For His . . Nurturing. v 4
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.
A good shepherd is known by his sheep. He provides paths for them and it honors him as well as being a benefit for the sheep. God wants people to know we are his children and we exalt His name through the way we walk the paths He provides for us. These paths are proven paths the shepherd knows where he is leading even if the sheep do not. On these paths we also receive the nurturing we need. Sometimes the paths seem dark and scary but we do not have to be fearful because of the comfort He gives.
3. When I Need Comfort The Lord Pursues Me With His . . Presence. Psa. 23:5-6
A. The Lord Pursues me With His . . Protecting Presence. v 5
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup
B. The Lord Pursues me With His . . Patronizing Presence. v 6
6 Only goodness and faithful love will
pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house
of the LORD as long as I live. HCSB
At times David’s sheep knew an enemy was near, but David slew a Lion and his protecting presence calmed the sheep. In such situations we can know of God’s anointing and note that our cup overflows. His goodness and mercy pursues us. We belong to the Lord therefore we obtain every right to expect His presence all the days of our lives. As we seek the Lord with all our being and serve Him we can expect His presence in a very special manner. This is especially true When I Need Comfort. Amen? Amen!