Psalm 23 is a story-board with a series of images along life’s journey.
The Psalm begins with a shepherd tending to the Psalter as if a lamb, a helpless child. The last three verses, our primary focus for tomorrow, present human adulthood. The adult walks through “a valley of death.” For to be human is to acknowledge our own mortality and to grieve over the loss of loved ones. Verse five is more upbeat, enjoying a feast. But, here too there is tension. We experience bounty gratefully, but our enemies are before us. Life has danger. The final verse looks toward inner calm- “Let only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life and I will find Sabbath in the Home of Adonai for unending days.” This final verse elevates the focus toward spiritual priorities. At the very center of the Psalm and the thread throughout are the words, “for You stand with me.”