Daily Devotional Psalm 23:1–6
“The LORD is my shepherd.” Psalm 23 contains one of the most famous images of God in the Bible. In the original language, the phrase is only two words long. Yet, it would take a whole book to fully unpack its depth of meaning.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
This month, we will look at the way God reveals His character to us through images. In the Old Testament, God is described as a light, a shield, a rock, an eagle, a potter, a craftsman, an artist, a warrior, and a king, to name just a few.
The images of God in the Bible are not mean to be exact or perfect representations. When the Bible compares God to a shepherd, it helps us more fully understand who He is. For example, shepherds in ancient Israel were often servants or hired hands. This does not mean that God is a hired hand.
But Psalm 23 shows us how God is like a shepherd. He provides for us: “I lack nothing” (v. 1). What a powerful statement! He guides our way and cares for our needs: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (v. 2). God protects, loves, and cares for His people. In the same way, we are a lot like sheep. We trust our Shepherd and are blessed when we follow Him.
A theologian explains how the Bible’s use of metaphor helps ignite our understanding: “Metaphor consists in bringing two sets of ideas close together, close enough for a spark to jump, but not too close, so that the spark, in jumping, illuminates for a moment the whole area around, changing perceptions as it does so.” We hope that this study will draw you closer to God and deepen your understanding of who He is.
>> Since we are studying images, why not start a picture journal? Whether you are artistic or just love to doodle, try to capture images that teach you something about God using paint, colored pencils, or even crayons.
Pray with Us
Heavenly Father, as our Shepherd we ask You to guide our study of the Old Testament this month. You have chosen each of these images to reveal Yourself in a way we can grasp; may this study enhance our understanding of You.