“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
My pastor once said, sometimes you have to look back, see all the things God has done in order to move forward. He gave examples of Jewish holidays that make us look back at what God has done. God is good.
I still cannot shake this strange feeling I have been having – wrestling with God? Needing a breakthrough? A full counterforce stop. I continue to pray. I continue to read and have fantastic study time. Yet something I cannot explain is in front of me and I feel stuck.
So let’s look back to the beginning. We overcome with our testimony after all.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelations 12:11 ESV
When I returned to Christ after shamefully wandering away – I was in a dark broken place. I was defeated and I said I can’t handle any more. I was empty and my needs and troubles outweighed the stars in the sky. And the verse that played over and over in my head was the Psalm written above.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” When this passage repeated in my head he was not my Lord and I was wanting – quite frankly, needing protection, peace, healing, restoration, and help. I needed a real and mighty God who would be with me and I needed miraculous victories. I did not understand this passage on any level. So if I am going to look back and start at the beginning, I should look into this psalm.
“The LORD is my shepherd” – He is Jehovah-Raah = The Lord, my Shepherd! What is even more interesting is that Jesus is the shepherd so this is pointing to Jesus.
“I shall not want.” – He is Jehovah-Jireh = The Lord, my Provider! He provided for the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. Jesus performed miracles of provisions in the New Testament and
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 ESV
I had major home repairs desperately needed. Big dollar things – each and every one. Did I tell you how I was saving for them and the pipe broke in the basement – during this ‘shut-down’. It was hard to find a plumber, but I found one doing emergency repairs and he was a great price! I have not yet recouped that money or earned all that I need to these repairs and this week a friend paid for one of the repairs. Workers just showed up and said they were paid for and ready to work if I just gave them permission to do it! WOW! My friend said that God told her to pay X amount towards the repair, she called a guy and he quoted her just under X for the job (there was a few extra buck when the final bill came in, but not even enough to buy a meal for the family). It was obviously God confirming that she should do it.
All of my needs aren’t met, yet. But my God is a provider and he is working on it!!!
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” – He is Jehovah-Shalom = The Lord, my Peace! And you have no idea how badly I needed peace. My job was turned upside down – my life was upended – I was brokenhearted and my sin had broken me. I learned to hold onto that peace in my storm and then when this strange Corona Virus showed up, I was able to maintain peace. Because peace is the name of my God – Jehovah Shalom.
“He restores my soul” – He is Jehovah-Rophe = The Lord, my Healer! Healing. I had lost a baby. I had lost the relationship with that baby’s dad. The miscarriage causes other issues. I was in need of some major healing: emotional as well as physical. It turned out I needed some spiritual healing as well. My God heals. Sometimes he heals by miracles, and sometimes by doctors, and sometimes we have to put the work in to work through the healing – actions of obedience and faith. But no matter how He heals – He is the healer!
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – He is Jehovah-Tsidkeneau = The Lord of Righteousness! And through Christ we can become is righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). The redemptive work of the cross and the grace to finish the plans He has laid out for us.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” – He is Jehovah-Shama = The Lord is Present! My God is present, with me! Wow, God was trying to show me who He is and that He is with me. So comforting to know he will never leave me nor forsake me! (Hebrews 13:5 & Deuteronomy 31:6)
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” – He is Jehovah-Ezer = The Lord, my Help! And how I needed His help! How I still need His Help! He is an all knowing God and His help is perfect, knowing all the fact – knowing exactly what to do to help.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” – He is Jehovah-Nissi = The Lord, my Standard of Victory! His army may be unseen – but there are more with us than against us. Besides the fact that Jesus already won the final battle – it is finished. We just have to have faith and keep obeying Him.
“You anoint my head with oil” – He is Jehovah-InKaddesh = The Lord, my Holiness, my Sanctification! Oh the awe of Holiness!!! If we understood His holiness, we would be afraid to sin! Oh the grace of it all, that we (sinners) are loved and sanctified by a holy and loving God!
“My cup overflows.” – He is Jehovah-Manah = The Lord my Portion! Interesting word that ‘Portion’ is around the world a portion is small and exactly what you need. In the United States you usually serve up multiple portions as one and our plates are even larger! God gives us exactly what we need and then overflows! Spiritually the Holy Spirit in us can overflow and change others around us. Physically, when we are faithful with the little things, God gives us bigger things! God blesses us so that we can be a blessing. I am wanting in some areas, yet I still give my tithe and give my time and things I can give. I have abundance in some areas and I thank God for it and try to use the overflow for His glory! God is good!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – He is Jehovah-Cheleq = The Lord my Inheritance!
Once you begin to understand who God is, it is easy to understand that we should follow Him and have a relationship with Him regardless of the blessing and the promised eternal life – however, on the same hand it is impossible to separate out the goodness from God!
The more I get to know God – the more determined I am to grab a hold and not let go until I am blessed! Hanging onto God! Look how marvelous this passage is and how it shows how far I have come and it reveals more of God! Lord, I love you!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you~
~Thank you for reading~
Be healthy and blessed!