Psalm 23: A Song of Confidence
A Shepherd and a Sheep
The sheep by nature is limited and needs a shepherd. “I shall not want” is a description of having all needs met.
Lie down in green pastures
A shepherd has the knowledge of what is best for a sheep. This includes rest and daily provisions that form the confidence and closeness with the shepherd.
Restores my soul
The life giving from the shepherd – restoring, refreshing, sustaining life – life is literally provided by the actions of the Shepherd. His leading is rooted in his character and has a purpose.
A realistic view of life
The first three verses give us a picture of the normal every day experience of life. But something does happen on this journey with the Shepherd, a darkness is present, it is near, it must be entered because it is the nature of this fallen and sinful world. Days will come with bad news, pain, difficulty, stress, brokenness, and heart ache that will tend to take the life, the soul, the relationship the sheep has with the shepherd.
A shift from the idea of a sheep to a person. The picture is of a meal. The table is not an average table but one prepared by the shepherd. The thought here is of a host inviting someone in not just to eat, nor just the house but under the protection of the guest. The enemies may be near but David sees himself coming under the roof of God.
Chesed and the place of worship
God is a shepherd who is has an active disposition toward his sheep. David sees himself at the place where life is truly found, in worship. It is the place to not only dwell but a place of relationship.