Tag Archive for Psalm of Trust

Psalm 23: Provision in Threatening Times

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:4-6, NASB)

Psalm 23:4-6 draws a beautiful picture of God shepherding His people even through the most difficult times, in the valley of deepest shadows, with enemies all around. When the need is the greatest, God is not just a shepherd, providing for basic necessities. He is also a banquet host. We are His guests at His feast and thus are under His protection.

Psalm 78 draws a similar picture as it retells the story of the Exodus. Verse 52 says that for forty years God shepherded His people through the wilderness.

He led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock. (Psalm 78:52, NASB)

But in that harsh and ungiving place, God was more than a shepherd. With His people engulfed in need, with no other source of supply, God hosted them at a rich banquet.

“Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?”
Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out…
He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them food from heaven.
Man did eat the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance…
He rained meat upon them…
So they ate and were well filled. (Psalm 78:19-20, 24-25, 27, 29a, NASB) 

Psalm 23:5 then goes beyond the provision of abundant food. At such banquets, the host would often anoint the head of his guests with oil, as an indication of prosperity and rejoicing. In Luke 7:46, Jesus refers to this kind of anointing as standard practice.

Here at the end of Psalm 23, the whole picture is one of God’s favor, prosperity, abundance, and joy, even while deepest darkness is all around.

Life will have its valleys…its darkness…its death…its enemies…its difficulties. But God’s care for His sheep does not change. Light or darkness, pleasure or pain, His goodness and His unfailing love will follow us every day of our lives, and the end will be an eternity with Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Psalm of Trust
Printed Music & Lyrics


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

Father, I’ve turned everywhere else.
I’ve sought relaxation instead of rest.
I’ve substituted comfort for peace.
The shell of security I’ve tried to build
only weighs me down with anxiety.

I hear Your words of love:

In quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15, NIV)

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29, NIV)

And God of fervent love,
passionately jealous for my best good,
I turn to You now.

What if I could truly know You—
not just know about You,
but know You?

What if by simple trust I could realize
Your personal presence with me,
moment by moment?

If in that presence I could know
Your gentleness,
Your power,
Your faithfulness,
Your love?

If trust could become
a personal relationship between us,
not an abstract concept?

What if I could simply know You,
and know You always with me?

Would Your rest then reign in me?
Would it fill my mind, my emotions,
and the desires of my heart?

Would it put me at peace with the past,
at peace with the present,
and eagerly anticipating a glorious future in You?

Would it reconcile me to myself,
to each person in my life, and
to You?

Could I go to bed in it,
get up in it,
work, have fun, and face adversity in it
without getting it wrinkled?

Would I then share Your deep peace—
that wholeness and harmony
You enjoy within Yourself,
that is found in You alone?

Come to me…and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

Father, I want to know You.
I want to rest in Your presence.
I come to You now.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Psalm of Trust
Printed Music & Lyrics