We often read Psalm 23 at funerals and various points of trials in our lives. We read it like it’s written; David’s words to the Lord. They were written from experience during his time as a shepherd. Today, I want to share with you a different look at Psalm 23. Today we will read it as the Lord saying it to you.
This is an exercise I picked up while at the Deeper Christian Life Conference earlier this year. It is a way to make Scripture come alive in a new way and deepen your relationship with the Lord.
To get us started, here is the original Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
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 loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Now, let’s flip the script and read it as if the Lord is speaking directly to you. When you try this exercise on your own, feel free to use some liberty as the Spirit leads.
I know some people will freak out and think we are changing scripture. Don’t worry, we are not changing scripture. We’re just doing a drill to make it come alive in a different way.
I am the Lord, your Shepherd.
You need not want for anything.
I will give you rest, and food, and water, and protection.
As you abide in me, I will restore and refresh your soul.
As you follow me, I will lead you on the paths of right living
because your very life depends on me.
My name is attached to your life.
Even though we will walk through some difficult places where it seems as if death is looming over you, fear not. I am with you.
My rod and staff are here to comfort you. With them I will fight off any predator or enemy that comes near. If you stay close to me they will do you no harm.
Look before you. I have prepared a seven-course meal for you to feast on as your enemies watch you recline in their presence without fear.
I have anointed your head with oil as my beloved. Your heart of stone is now alive. Look at your cup. It overflows before you.
My love, goodness, grace, and kindness will follow you wherever you go for all the days of your life.
You are now a living stone.
I shall dwell in you, and you shall dwell in my house forever.
My hope and prayer is that this exercise has made Psalm 23 come alive to you in a new way. The exercise does not work on every scripture, but is a powerful way to experience the word of God in a new light.