No. 589 - WHAT IS THE 23rd PSALM?

No. 589



If I were to ask you the question, "What is the 23rd Psalm?" What would you say? If you know anything about the Bible at all, you would probably say, "It's a chapter in the Old Testament, written mostly by King David of Israel."

Well, it's much more than that as you will soon see in something a friend sent to me the other day that I would like to pass along. The credit line goes to Kay Weaver, past president, American Bell Association.

Over the years I have read the 23rd Psalm hundreds of times but I have never seen it in the light of what will follow. I might add, the reason this short chapter is quoted so often is because it brings hope and healing to people who are hurting. To begin, allow me to pose my question again, "What is the 23rd Psalm," and please think about the true meaning of each thought as we go along."

The Lord is my Shepherd - that's Relationship! I shall not want - that's Supply! He maketh me to lie down in green pastures - that's Rest! He leadeth me beside the still waters - that's Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul - that's Healing! He leads me in the paths of righteousness - that's Guidance! For His name's sake - that's Purpose! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - that's Testing! I will fear no evil - that's Protection! For Thou art with me - that's Faithfulness! Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me - that's Discipline! Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies - that's Hope! Thou annointest my head with oil - that's Consecration! My cup runneth over - that's Abundance! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life - that's Blessing! And I will dwell in the house of the Lord - that's Security! Forever - that's Eternity!"

Now, allow me to follow up with another question. Do you know anyone who is hurting? I mean really hurting. Obviously, there are millions of people in our nation today who are hurting physically and in most cases these are the ones who are easiest to help.

However, in many cases they cannot be helped. We had a friend pass away a few weeks ago after a long battle with cancer. The cancer was on the inside and they could not cure it and he suffered excruciating physical pain for several weeks before he finally lost the battle.

On the other hand, there are also millions of people who are hurting emotionally. Quite often, these are the people who the most difficult to help, because the emotion is also on the inside, where it is more difficult to reach. Not too long ago I had another friend who took his own life because he was hurting emotionally, although it appeared that he had everything in the world to live for.

At this point, if you will go back and re-read the 23rd Psalm and what each separate thought really means, you will see hope and healing that you can't find anywhere else, other than the word of God.

Please understand, I don't share these thoughts to be religious. We see people killing each other all across the world every day in the name of religion and somehow they missed I Corinthians 13, which is known as the "Love" chapter. It boggles my mind as to how some human beings can be as cruel to take the lives of countless innocent human beings without any remorse or regret. If there is one thing I am sure of, religion is not the answer.

As you read this column anywhere across our great country, it does not matter if you are management or labor, black, white, brown or yellow, rich or poor, or even a college professor, I know someday we will all have to stand before a holy and righteous God and give an account of what we have done with what He has given us.

If you ever find yourself in need of a true Relationship, a real Purpose, some quality Rest and much-deserved Discipline, a great source to find these very things can be found in the 23rd Psalm. ---

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Ark. 72034. To support literacy, buy his book, "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")