The Shepherd’s Psalm, Part 1

I have been spending some time in the Psalms lately and the past week or so especially on Psalm 23. This is a well known text and I was almost tempted to read over it quickly just out of familiarity, but I am glad I did not. Let’s start in the first verse:


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

Now we will break this down a little:

The Lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd.

It is amazing the difference when we just change the emphasis. I do this for effect and is not written that way in the Bible, but here we go…


The-used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is a unique or a particular member of its class <the President><the Lord>[i]

When we see the, we need to think “one and only” and is anything else taking the place of the Lord in our lives. This is not something to be passed over lightly. As God spoke to the children of Israel when they left Egypt: I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3).

Question 8

Are there more Gods than one?

Answer 8

There is but one only, the living and true God.[ii]

The early church fathers understood as we should that God will not tolerate anything being more important than Him in our lives. Anything more important than Him is an idol. We would never bow before a statue of wood or stone but where are we on Sunday morning? Hopefully not at work, or at the game, or even out at breakfast with our families, not that we are not to love our families, not that we are not to work (we are to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow since the fall of Adam) and we are to love our wives like Christ loved the church but Jesus seems to say something odd:

If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. –Luke 14:26

Mathew Henry comments on this verse:

A man cannot be Christ’s disciple but he must hate father, and mother, and his own life. He is not sincere, he will be constant and persevering, unless he love Christ better than any thing in this world, and be willing to part with that which he may and must leave, either as a sacrifice, when Christ may be glorified by our parting with it.[iii]

Basically it is a matter of comparison, our love for The Lord has to be so strong that the love for anything in this world pales in comparison. This is not a call to take away from those whom we love, cherish and need our support but to multiply it in the service of the master. Like Abraham who was willing to offer his son Isaac, we need to be willing to let go of it all for God so He is glorified as the One and Only God

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.[iv]

That is the meaning of “the.” To keep Jesus first in our minds and hearts, and we will continue with the word “Lord” later

[i] The, Merriam Webster dictionary on line,

[ii] The Westminster Catechism,

[iii] Henry, Matthew. “Commentary on Luke 14.” Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 01 Mar 1996. 27 Oct 2007.<;.

[iv] The Westminster Catechism ,


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s