Psalm 23

This is written by Sirine Hammami.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name's sake.
4 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.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    for ever.


Psalm 23 is perhaps one of the best known Psalms, it says so much about God's goodness, provision and protection for us. Its message should offer great comfort to us, especially to those experiencing the reality of struggle and sorrow.

The risk however is that we can get so accustomed to it that we no longer connect with its truth for our lives. When I read Psalm 23 I imagine a luscious garden with "green pastures" and "quiet waters". Another garden we read about in scripture is Eden where humanity rests in their perfect relationship with God, nothing was lacking, his love and joy were ever present.

London however often seems unlike both gardens. It can be really difficult especially when we feel the pressures that life throws at us. Sometimes it's more like we are in a steel and concrete wilderness where we are lacking materially, spiritually and relationally.

This Psalm should act an encouragement to us to allow our good shepherd, to lie us down in green pastures. It is all too easy to resist him and settle for less than what's on offer. It's good for us to lay down in his presence, to bring our all before him, the good, the bad and the ugly and allow him to refresh us. God always wants to hang out with us, his desire for us is wholeness and to know his love.

I recommend that you find somewhere quiet and comfortable to be still. Rest. Breathe. Pray. Wait.

Jesus, open our hearts to the truth of your word especially when it has become hard and let it seed. Let us rest and hide in you in today, and help us to recognise your presence, and where you are leading us to quiet waters.
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