Bible Study of Psalm 23 – Meaning of Verse by Verse

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Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. It is often referred to as the “Shepherd’s Psalm” because it paints a picture of God as a loving and protective shepherd who guides and cares for His sheep. This Psalm is a source of comfort and reassurance for many Christians.

In Psalm 23, David portrays God as his Shepherd, the psalmist was familiar with this title, since throughout his childhood he shepherded the sheep of his father, Jesse.

Before defeating the great Goliath, he defended his sheep from bears and lions, David confronted and killed giants for the love of his sheep. Just as the Lord God has an inexplicable zeal for us!

My intention in writing this study is NOT to do like many who simply open Psalm 23 and put the Bible on the shelf…

I actually want you to understand exactly what is written [verse by verse] and be able to apply this Word in different situations in your life!

Let’s read all of Psalm 23 and then do a brief study of it:

Complete Bible Study of Psalm 23 KJV

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
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.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
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.” ( Psalms 23:1-6 )

This psalm is a true expression of our trust in God, and this must necessarily be reflected in our lives every day.

How to find Psalm 23 in the Bible?

The book of Psalms is present in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, this psalm is specifically the 23rd book. Just like the chapter in question is also number 23!

To make it easier, one of the possibilities is to consult the index of the Bible in question and search through the pages.

As a reference, the book of Psalms stands between the Scriptures of Job and Proverbs.

The Meaning of Psalm 23

Next, we will see the most important points of Psalm 23, wherein each verse, we try to comment on the main message that the psalmist left us as invaluable spiritual teachings for our days.

Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

Right away David exposes “the secret” of the success of his reign!

He was the head of the greatest king Israel ever had, but the psalmist, even though he was a king, CHOOSE to place himself like a sheep in the flock of the Good Shepherd, this is a case of humility and submission to the will of God.

Beloved, understand that in the Kingdom of God, your position here on earth does not matter, nor your profession or title in the physical world, but your identity and dependence on the Lord in the spiritual world!

Your choice to prostrate yourself as a sheep of the Good Shepherd’s fold is what will define whether or not you will live the entirety of this psalm.

But notice that many people when they read this little passage: “ The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want ”, think that they will be free from trials or problems.

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But the best translation of that verse would be, ” I will not lack anything indispensable “. See the difference?

David never mentions that we will have a luxury in our own lives, or fame and popularity, on the contrary, he says that what is indispensable in our lives, we will not lack.

Are you really a sheep?

If by faith we mention and affirm that the Lord is my shepherd, we must understand that in the same way, we are also saying the following: I am a sheep.

Because there is no way to be shepherded by a Good Shepherd without demonstrating the characteristics of a good sheep because if we really are sheep we must have the properties of sheep.

Keep reading and let’s evaluate some characteristics of a good sheep:

Sheep know, follow and obey only Their Shepherd

A sheep is a totally lovable animal, but it only follows its shepherd.

And the question you don’t want to shut up is: have you been following only the teachings recorded in the Bible? I ask you this because I constantly ask myself about it…

Beloved, there is no way to be guided by 2 shepherds or serve 2 lords, it is not possible to follow the Good Shepherd only when it suits you and take a little escape from time to time!

If you want to serve the Lord, serve fully! Especially because in the Kingdom of God there is no room for “Christian means”.

But another no less interesting factor is that, contrary to cattle where one must stay behind to guide them, in the situation of sheep the shepherd must go ahead of them, calling them, showing them the path they must follow.

May we also recognize our pastor in front of us and remain firm on his path!

Good sheep produce good wool constantly

From the moment it is born, the sheep creates wool, what a beautiful example!

Beloved, from the moment you are born again, the Lord expects you to automatically bear good fruit!

And here I’m talking about the fruits that don’t depend on God, but the fruits that depend on you to be generated and manifested in your life!

Understand that God expects you to produce!

Also, note that the wool produced by sheep changes throughout their trajectory and according to the season. Sheep wool changes texture, color, and density.

The believer must also yearn for higher works to come in accordance with his spiritual maturity. In other words, our own experiences and communion with God should result in a better person every day.

So let’s be better today than we were yesterday!

Sheep do not eat any food

In case you didn’t know, a sheep eats grass, but the grass must be young, it must be fresh and it must be good.

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Just like the true Christian eats the Word of God and not a mixture of the Word or a carnal interpretation of the Word.

God is saying here that it’s time for you to better discern what you’ve been eating and who is serving you spiritual food.

You need to eat the pure word, while you are not in this essence, you will not feel quenched! So start to better discern what you see, what you watch, what you lend your time to, which preacher you listen to, etc.

The believer’s spiritual food is the Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us, and as sheep, we must constantly be “chewing” this food.

Psalm 23 – He makes me lie down in green pastures

After stating that the Lord is my shepherd, Psalm 23 shows several figures that represent the care that God has for the man who submits to His shepherding, like a sheep that submits to the care of a shepherd.

“Green pastures” and “still waters” are all a sheep ESSENTIALLY needs!

Judea and Samaria are located in a tropical area where two seasons predominate: Winter, the dry season from November to April, and Summer, the rainy season from May to October.

In the first days of May, the dominant vegetation gives an amazing spectacle, an excellent green splendor for grazing and feeding the flock.

However, as the winter and the heat of the sun become more intense, the greenery and the flowers dry up, which makes finding a space with enough food for the sheep much more complex.

This forces shepherds to undertake an exhausting pilgrimage in search of good pastures. However, David says that the Lord regardless of the season invites us to rest in green pastures!

Later Jesus confirms to us that He has in abundance the food that His sheep need, that is: he who truly follows Jesus will find good pastures throughout his life.

Even when the planet is in a spiritual drought, we will enter the rest of Jesus. The Master always has the spiritual food that satisfies our cravings (read John 10:9 ).

Psalm 23 – It refreshes my soul

The verdant pastures provided by God refresh and restore the distressed soul!

One of the meanings of the word refrigeration is the pleasant sensation produced by freshness. And some synonyms of this word are; comfort, relief, balm, and consolation.

Our Lord is the one who brings relief, comfort, and balm to our souls!

And many times the circumstances of our life seem to act in a similar way, where the heat of events makes us feel stuffy and tired with so many things… We have difficulty even in the search for spiritual food.

But in those moments, the Spirit of the Lord comes like a gentle breeze, coming from above, refreshing our soul and renewing our strength allowing us to continue walking in His ways.

Psalm 23 – Valley of the Shadow of Death

Going through the valley of the shadow of death is worse than death itself because when death comes, you don’t see or feel anything – death just happens.

But the valley of the shadow of death is not death, that is, you know and feel that the shadow is present, but it tortures you instead of taking you away…

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This verse makes explicit the peace that David feels, comparing all the times he was surrounded by enemies, as in a valley that represented his death, but still, he could not feel fear because he was accompanied by the King of kings.

The same God who provides you with green pastures is with you in the shadow of death! Our Lord continually watches over us and it is he who delivers us from all evil!

Psalm 23 – You prepare a table before me

David was confident that God’s providence was so great that his enemies could not defeat him, and that they would see the blessing of the Lord God visibly in his life.

This word was also prophetic, and announces the second coming of the Messiah Jesus, since everyone will see him, including those who will pierce him on the cross.

‘And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of thanksgiving and supplication. They will look at me, whom they have pierced, and they will weep for him as one mourns the loss of an only son, and they will mourn bitterly for him as one mourns the loss of an eldest son.’ ( Zechariah 12:10 )

On that day, all enemies will see Jesus rejoicing with his sheep at a great feast. However, they will not be able to participate and will regret it for life.

Psalm 23 – You prepare a table before me

No doubt our Pastor is full of mercy and goodness. And as sheep obey the voice of their shepherds, so His goodness and mercy follow them.

This means that once we obey our Lord God, we don’t have to run after blessings, but they will follow us.

If the Lord really is our Shepherd, instead of being pursued through the valley of the shadow of death, we are pursued by the goodness and mercy that account for God’s loyal love.

God’s goodness and mercy will always be with us regardless of the scenario we are going through.

In other words, whether you are going through the valley of the shadow of death or the green pastures, the bottom line is that the Lord is your Shepherd and He is your caretaker.

Do you believe this Word?

Anyway, this was our study of the Psalm of chapter 23, we brought revelations verse by verse.

We sincerely hope that this message will bless and enlighten the lives of many, your minister can use this study to apply as expository preaching in your church.

If you can, share this article on your social networks to contribute and reach lives with the Word of God. Remain Blessed.