Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Yesterday’s sermon explored how experiencing God’s love overcomes our fear. This is a frequent theme throughout the Bible, which we will explore in our devotions this week. As we reflect on these passages, keep in mind the central teaching of Scripture: we do not overcome fear by becoming braver (trusting ourselves); we overcome fear by taking shelter under God’s strong, reliable, and loving protection (trusting someone greater than ourselves.)
We will start with the most popular of all Psalms, number 23. David did many heroic things in the face of danger, but notice what gives him courage: it is the Lord, who refreshes, guides, comforts and follows him. The main point is in verse 4: It is God being “with” him, with God’s “rod and staff” (the tools of a shepherd), that enable David to “fear no evil.” David, the shepherd, can do his work with courage, because he is under the shelter of a greater, more perfect shepherd. Try to picture Jesus as your personal shepherd. Envision how Jesus is guiding you, protecting you, and especially, how he is always with you. Our fears melt when we stop trying to be our own shepherd, and humble ourselves under Jesus’ rod and staff.