Goodness and Mercy

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. –Ps. 23:6 There have been many friends in my life. Some have abandoned me while others have just drifted away, but there were always two who never left my side – Goodness and Mercy. There was a time in my life when I did not recognize them, but looking back, I can see where they helped me. I did not deserve them, and there were many times when I did not appreciate them, but in spite of that they were always there. Goodness and Mercy have carried my burdens when they were too heavy for me to bear. Goodness and Mercy come in the form of grace when I am troubled., and strength when I am weak. Even when I fail, they stick with me. When I cry, they...

Provider And Protector

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. –Ps. 23:5 A shepherd, like David, would take the sheep to the plateaus for summer. This area is often called “the table lands”. The shepherd makes several trips to the table lands to prepare it for his flock. He must clean out their water holes which may be full of debris. He searches for poisonous plants in order to remove them before the sheep arrive. He leaves deposits of salt and minerals in various places for the sheep to enjoy. He learns where predators can hide waiting to attack the sheep. It is necessary to anoint the sheep’s head with oil in order to protect them from parasites and disease. Unprotected sheep will jerk their head frantically trying...

Fear No Evil

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. –Ps. 23:4 Jesus, our Good Shepherd, walks with us as we travel through the perilous vallies of life, and even at the time of death. Shepherds, like David, would guide their flock up through the valley to the high country during summer. There were good grazing areas and fresh running streams for the flocks there. There were also many dangers such as coyotes and bears hiding on the cliffs ready to attack. The shepherd stayed very close to thee flock, searching for these dangers. The sheep have no reason to fear because he is with them. The rod was a symbol of authority, protection, strength, intimacy and care. It was...