Day 3

The Community’s Most Talked About Reading from 2019



Psalm 23:1-6

BY She Reads Truth

For Day 3 of our 2019 Wrapped plan, we asked our website geniuses to discover our most talked about day within the SRT community. It was from our digital reading plan, Psalms of Rest. Today’s reading is a psalm of David, reminding us of the Lord’s provision and care for His people.

Psalms of Rest Day 1 | The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 speaks to my heart—green pastures, quiet waters, right paths. I am an outdoorsy person by nature. I’d much rather get lost in the woods, alone with my thoughts, the trees, and the breeze, than be in any city. So, as I read these familiar verses, I want to go outside, to be witness to the goodness and beauty of the natural world. It also occurs to me that I have something in common with sheep—we can both get lost without hardly trying.

Some years ago, I read about a Merino sheep in New Zealand named Shrek. He had wandered away from his flock and his shepherd and gotten lost. For six years, he lived in nearby caves, eating what he could find and avoiding the shearer’s blade. When Shrek was finally found, his wool weighed sixty pounds, and the raw weight of twenty men’s suits on his back was threatening his life. He had trouble walking, and his breathing was labored. He needed his shepherd. So do we.

Shepherds take care of sheep—plural—but in this psalm, the relationship is between one sheep and his Shepherd. It’s personal, much more intimate. “The LORD is my shepherd” (v.1, emphasis mine). These words are from David, but I can’t help but read them as my own. I think we were meant to, each one of us. The Lord is my Shepherd. He guides me, provides for me, protects me from my enemies.

I don’t need to worry. “I have what I need” (v.1). I don’t need to struggle or strive. “He lets me lie down in green pastures” (v.2). Weariness does not have the final say. “He renews my life.” And I won’t ever get lost. (Not really, anyway.) “He leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (v.3). It is only because the Shepherd is so good that I can be still and rest, that I can have true peace.

I could be happy for eternity being a beloved lamb of the Good Shepherd, but Psalm 23 doesn’t leave us as sheep. A shift occurs in verse 5. David begins to address God directly—the song becomes a prayer of thanksgiving. Not only that, but the pastoral imagery is replaced by a banquet scene. You and I have become honored guests of the King.

The table is set, and though my enemies might rage just outside, none of that matters (v.5). I am in the house of my Maker, the One who knows me and loves me better than anyone else. But the best part? I’m not just a guest. I get to stay in His presence forever—”as long as I live” (v.6), though the Hebrew phrase that’s been translated doesn’t limit this time to my natural lifespan. It has all come full circle—”I have what I need,” because I have the One I was created to know and love.

As the content director for She Reads Truth, He Reads Truth, and Kids Read Truth, John Greco has the best job in the world. He wakes up every morning hardly believing he actually gets paid to study Scripture and write about it. He is the author of three books, Gospel Here and Now: Your Life in the Story of God, Manger King: Meditations on Christmas and the Gospel of Hope, and Broken Vows: Divorce and the Goodness of God. John and his wife, Laurin, live south of Nashville, where they daily wrangle their three small boys and dream of someday being the ones who get to take all the naps.

Post Comments (80)

80 thoughts on "The Community’s Most Talked About Reading from 2019"

  1. Sharon Jones says:

    I just shared a post on fb written by someone else who learned this from someone else. These are not my words and I don’t know the source but it is applicable to this verse today:

    —————————/————//-////
    I have to admit, I always wondered what this part of Psalm 23 meant. I thought “He anoints my head with oil” was figurative language for God keeping the Psalmist healthy. I never knew this parallel.

    Anoint my head with oil

    “Sheep can get their head caught in briers and die trying to get untangled. There are horrid little flies that like to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils which turn into worms and drive the sheep to beat their head against a rock, sometimes to death. Their ears and eyes are also susceptible to tormenting insects. So the shepherd anoints their whole head with oil. Then there is peace. That oil forms a barrier of protection against the evil that tries to destroy the sheep. Do you have times of mental torment? Do the worrisome thoughts invade your mind over and over? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to stop them? Have you ever asked God to anoint your head with oil? He has an endless supply! His oil protects and makes it possible for you to fix your heart, mind, and eyes on Him today and always! There is peace in the valley! May our good good Father anoint your head with oil today so that your cup overflows with blessings! God is good and He is faithful!!”

    1. Sheri Ness says:

      Thank you fir posting this! I’ve never heard that oil was used that way with sheep. The imagery of my Lord covering my anxious mind is a comfort and help. Thank you.

  2. Andrea Lopez says:

    I loved this exploration of Psalm 23! It makes the Psalm so personal! Thank you! ❤

  3. E Hong says:

    4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

  4. Pamela Moretz says:

    I must admit when I first saw Psalm 23 as the first of the year Bible reading I couldn’t help but think of funerals but isn’t that what we’re doing we’re letting the old fade out putting it away just to reminisce for another day.

    Thank you Lord Jesus for your perpetual present called a new day a new year and please help me work on using it to focus vision in 2020!

    To you be all glory and honor and praise!

  5. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Amen…powerful

  6. JoAnna McGaughey says:

    Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  7. Cassie Kendall says:

    Uggh! This is totally how I feel so often too. We see God moving in the world around us but we don’t have that right relationship with Him, so we suffer. We can look around to try to find what will fill the void in our hearts but nothing will-the void is only filled by our Lord. So grateful for fresh starts today! Praying that we can all not fall into routines that leave out having a meaningful relationship with our Creator!

  8. Lisha Pena says:

    I have what need, because I have the one I was created to know and love. Wow, these words spoke directly to my heart and spirit! I’m so excited to start this new journey (fresh start). Even with so many years of knowing and experiencing God and His grace in my life. I had allowed myself to fall into the same old routine and finding myself feeling lost. My prayer was to find a study group, app, bible whatever resource that would help me see/find what I felt was lost!! Thank you!!

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