Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

– Psalm 23 (KJV)

Is there anything more beautiful that has ever been written than the 23rd Psalm? I still prefer to read it in the King James Version. Even with our many wonderful modern translations, those anonymous scholars in 17th century England created a wonderful and melodious rendition of King David’s ancient song for English speakers that has yet to be matched.

The Bible says God considered David a man after his own heart. I found this post by Ron Edmondson entitled 10 Reasons David is called “A Man After God’s Own Heart.” It’s worth the read.

 

Psalm 127:1

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
– Psalm 127:1b (NIV)

It seems to me a common thread in the Old Testament is the fate of cities. Often in ancient times, cities were incredibly important and defined whole people groups. Think Athens versus Sparta. The Bible makes clear time and again that the fate of cities is in the Lord’s hands.

If the Lord wants to take out a city, He will. See Sodom and Gomorrah. If the Lord decides not to take out a city, He won’t. See Nineveh in the Book of Jonah.

It also seems to me that God extends this concept all the way up to entire nations, and all the way down to single households.

For an excellent discussion on Sodom and Gomorrah and the events leading to their destruction, read this sermon by Keith Krell.

 

Psalm 139:13-14

For you formed my inmost being.
    You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I will give thanks to you,
    for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful.
    My soul knows that very well.
– Psalm 139:13-14 (WEB)

Psalm 139:13 has been called a “pro-life verse” because of the reference to being knit together in the mother’s womb.

Focus on the Family has an excellent series on love and sex. Click here.

 

Psalm 8:3-4

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?
– Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)

One way to feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things is to get a really good look at the night sky. On a clear night free of clouds and city lights, the true majesty of the heavens is a wondrous sight to see. When you realize how tiny our little planet is in the cosmos, then you start to consider how small you are.

The greater wonder is that God cares for us. He created us, came to earth as one of us, and died for us.

Here on earth, this tiny planet in the corner of one galaxy, the entire drama of good versus evil is played out. God made people in His image, we fell from grace, and each person meets the challenges of life and faces His judgment after, with the key question of whether or not they accepted the covenant Jesus offers.

 

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
– Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

One small nation at the crossroads of three continents has had such a profound impact on all other nations. The God of this tiny country (currently about the size of New Jersey), has certainly made Himself known throughout the world.

Psalm 46 describes mass chaos, crumbling kingdoms, and melting earth. But toward the end, God speaks:

“Be still and know that I am God.”

No matter what goes on in the world, or in our lives, He is still God.