MONDAY, AUGUST 3
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT2)
I saw a meme the other day that said they were ready for some precedented times. In fact, this season has been unprecedented in most of our lifetimes. It would be so easy to allow worry to consume us. However, Psalm 23 was written to provide an antidote for panic and worry.
Ira Sankey, who for years led the music for D.L. Moody’s evangelistic meetings, was traveling by steamboat on Christmas Eve in 1875. He was recognized by some of the passengers, and they asked him to sing. Sankey agreed, and began singing “Saviour Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” When the song was done, one of the listeners stepped forward and asked, “Did you serve in the Union Army?” “Yes,” Mr. Sankey answered. “Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright, moonlit night in 1862?” “Yes,” Mr. Sankey said again.
“I was serving in the Confederate army. When I saw you standing at your post, I raised my gun and took aim. I was standing in the shadow, completely concealed, while the full light of the moon was falling upon you. At that instant, you raised your eyes to Heaven and began to sing that same song. ‘Let him sing his song to the end,’ I said to myself, ‘I can shoot him afterwards.’ I heard the words perfectly: ‘We are Thine; do Thou befriend us. Be the Guardian of our way.’ I began to think of my childhood and my God-fearing mother who sang that song to me. When you finished, it was impossible for me to take aim again. I thought, ‘The Lord who is able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty.’”
The psalmist also believed that God was great and mighty and able to save. Take a few moments and reread Psalm 23. While you are reading underline all the verbs describing what God, the Great Shepherd, promises to do for His sheep. Which promises mean the most to you?