If the Lord is your shepherd, He is leading you and you are not leading Him. Sheep don’t lead the shepherd—they follow Him. Do you? When the Lord is my Shepherd, I will lack for nothing for only He can bring satisfaction and I find that my satisfaction is in Him--not in things, so why should I want for anything when I have all things in Him?
23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
Sheep are stubborn. They don’t have enough sense to know when to lie down to rest so there are times that He makes me lie down but the good thing is that He makes me lie down where the green pastures are. Israel is a dusty, rocky place and green pastures are rare. A good shepherd moves us to green pastures. He also leads us by still waters as sheep are afraid of moving water. They won’t go near moving waters but only by the still waters. Again, good shepherds lead them beside the still waters. Not where the rushing water can drown them and pull them under.
23:3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
The word “restores” is more like a revival. I was dead in my sins but He restored my soul because the Shepherd willingly gave His life for His sheep. My Shepherd leads me to restoration by leading me in the paths of righteousness. His righteousness is sure and unless He leads me, and I follow, I will not know righteousness.
23:4 Yea, 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.
Sheep are about the dumbest of all of God’s creatures and we are like sheep, every one of us. God never promises to keep us out of valleys of death or prevent us from going through them, but He does say that He will go “through the valley” with us. Sheep are not sure-footed like goats, so the rod and staff are like portable guard rails to keep them from falling and on the right path. The Shepherd can put us back on our feet again, and so the staff comforts us.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
When He prepares a table before my enemies, this means that He has had victory over them. Every believer has an anointing. If you are a Christian, then you have had an anointing. The oil represents the Holy Spirit. No half-full or half-empty here, the cup God gives us is overflowing. Period. End of story.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Goodness and mercy stay with us even when we don’t deserve it. Mercy is where we don’t get what we do deserve and His goodness is what we do get but don’t deserve. We will dwell with the Lord forever because we have eternal life earned for us by the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord is My Shepherd. Is He yours?