Comforting. Encouraging. Reassuring. Peaceful. Beautiful.
All words I’ve heard used to describe David’s words in Psalm 23; and all absolutely true.
He talks about God being a guide. He talks about God being good, and he talks about Him being loving.
However, there are layers underneath what we read. And it centres, for me, on the end of verse 4 – that the rod and staff of the Shepherd comfort David. Why do they comfort him? To find out, we need to think about what the rod and staff were for.
The rod was for protection – protection against wolves or other animals that wanted to attack the Shepherd’s sheep. The rod was also for discipline. If the Shepherd sees His sheep going off course, He’d give them a whack with the rod, and they’d get back on course. They’d be safe once again.
It’s ok for God to give us a whack!
The staff normally had a crook. It would be used to keep the shepherd upright when he was weak from a day’s work. It would also help him sleep, as he would rest his head on it to do so.
He is our strength, and in Him we can have rest.
God being a shepherd, and us being the sheep, came alive for me through this psalm!
I hope it does for you too.