Jehovah is with (v. 1) under (v. 2) beside (v. 2) after (v. 6) before (v. 5) and ahead of (v. 6) all His trusting children.
They shall not want for food (v. 2) drink (v. 2) strength (v. 3) guidance (v. 3) comfort (v. 4) satisfaction (v. 5) or life (v. 6).
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 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 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 23 – The Song of the Good Shepherd
A sabbatic rest breathes through this psalm, the children’s favorite; while the oldest and holiest confess that it touches an experience which still lies before them. Here is no strife, no fear, no denunciation, and no self-vindication.
Jehovah is represented as the Shepherd, the Guide, and the Host of His people. We are taught to think less of our attitude toward Him and more of His responsibility for us. The flock does not keep the shepherd, but the shepherd keeps the flock. Look away from yourself and trust Him with all, in all, and for all.
Let God see to your wants. You need nothing outside of Him. His pastures are “green;” His waters, “still.” He refreshes us when exhausted; heals when diseased; restores from wandering; leads in right paths, though steep; accompanies us into the valley with club for our foes and crook for the pits; spreads our table amid hatred; and protects our rear with the twin-angels, goodness and mercy! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 23:6—Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
We are well escorted, with a Shepherd in front and these twin angels behind! Some one called them watch-dogs; but I prefer to think of them as angel. Do you not see the special beauty of these fair, strong angel-forms following? We make such mistakes, give unnecessary pain, leave work ill-done and half-done, often succeed rather in raising dust than cleaning the rooms which we would fain sweep! It is good we think that two such angels follow close upon our track as we go through life, putting kind constructions on our actions, disentangling knots, making good deficiencies, and preventing the consequences of ill-advised and inconsiderate action pursuing us to the bitter end.
There are mothers who are always tidying up after their children. The little ones have had a rare time, which has left confusion and disorder; but the mother comes, mending the broken toys, stitching the rent garments, making everything neat and tidy. As the ambulance corps goes over the battle-field; as time festoons with verdure ruins and decay; as love puts the most tender construction on word and act—so the love of God follows us.
His goodness imputes to us the noble motive, though the act itself has been a failure; credits us with what was in our heart; reckons us the full wage, though we have only wrought one hour. His mercy forgives, obliterates the traces of our sins from his heart, undoes their ill-effect so far as possible towards others, and treats us as if we had never transgressed. Do not fear the future. God’s angels do not tire. What has been will be, in all worlds, and to all eternity. All the days, even those in which Satan seems to have obtained permission to sift. —Our Daily Homily