David’s Song of Provision (14-08-21)
David, as a boy with seven older brothers, spent his early life with the menial job of caring for the family’s sheep. He would often be alone on the hillside and in danger from bears and lions. These were formative times for him, bringing him close to God in reflection and worship, and providing him with an insight into his own relationship with God as his shepherd.
Bible Reading: Psalms 23:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
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.
In this psalm, David reflects on God as the provider of all that he needs in life, in the same way that he, as a shepherd, provides for his sheep.
Our God provides for our needs, holistically. In the practical necessities of life, he provides food and drink equivalent to green pastures and quiet waters, while emotionally he provides a safe place to rest, and spiritually he refreshes our souls.
Just as there would be many paths that David could have guided his sheep down, so he recognises that there are many pathways in life that he could travel down, but that God guides him down the right ones, even if sometimes these paths go through ‘The darkest valley’ or ‘The valley of the shadow of death’ as more traditional translations put it.
The God who guided David into dark valleys goes with him, protecting him with his rod and staff and leading him out to a place of blessing and anointing, and eventually to heaven where he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The God who protected and provided for David, and who guided him through life and to eternity is the God who protects and provides for you, the God who guides you, even if at times the path seems to go through a dark valley.
Recognising God's provision brings us, like David, to a place of praise. Recognising our need brings us to a place of prayer. What are you are thankful to God for today? What are the needs that you want to bring to your Shepherd? Can you bring then to him now in praise and prayer?
Are there things where you need God to guide you today? Trust him, he will guide you.
O Lord my Shepherd, thank you that you protect me and provide for me,
Help me to walk faithfully with you, even when the pathway seems dark.
The Lord is my shepherd