Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 23’

Protection, Provision, & Perception: Three prayer points

May 25, 2020
Psalm 91:1 expresses the deepest yearning of our hearts at this time.

Recently, Pastor Jim Critcher, one of the ministers at Grace Covenant Church, Chantilly, VA, offered words of exhortation and prayer points as we press into God during the current COVID-19 pandemic. He encouraged us to apply these focal points: Protection, Provision, Perspective and Perception.

Protection

We are to pray Psalm 91 over ourselves, our families and our friends. This Psalm of David provides great comfort and strength in the midst of the chaotic times in which we presently live.

Psalm 91 (NKJV):

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Provision

We are to pray for God’s provision to be made known around the world.

Psalm 23 (NKJV) reinforces this message:

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Perspective & Perception

We are to ask God for an understanding of His perspective in this moment and a perception that would be tied to heaven and not to earth, as we ask God for that which He desires for us, expressed in Ephesians 1:15-17 (NKJV):

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your [c]understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

The email message from Pastor Jim inspired this response:

Protection-Provision-Perspective:
Three Ps to Ponder in these Stressful Times


When we dwell in the secret place of the Most-High,
We abide in the shade of the Almighty’s wings
In praise for His protection, our joyful heart sings
To Jehovah, the creator and Earth and sky.
In times of famine or fulness, God meets each need
With His generous provision for daily life.
The love of God sustains, His peace dispels all strife.
Despite countless failures, He helps us to succeed.
Once again, we pray: Open the eyes of our heart
That we might view life from a higher perspective
As we look to your Word with hearts more reflective
Of your unfailing promise never to depart.
We know you protect and provide but help us see
Your hand in making us all you designed us to be.

We close with Esther Mui offering a moving rendition of Psalm 91: My God, In Him I Will Trust:

The shepherd and his flock

January 6, 2018

Ezekiel 34--11 jpeg

The verse featured on the home page of the Logos Bible Software on January 6, 2018 portrays God as a shepherd in Ezekiel 34:11, but to comprehend more fully this comparison, let us take a look at the entire passage:

Ezekiel 34:11-16 (New Living Translation):

11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them!

In many of the Psalms written by David, who himself served as a shepherd in the early years of his life, we find references to “the shepherd” as a title for God and Israel as the sheep of His flock

Psalm 80:1 (NLT)

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory

This image of God as a shepherd points to his continual direction, guidance and care for His people.

Psalm 95:7 (NLT):

For he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

Psalm 79:13 (NLT):

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.

Psalm 100:3 (NLT):

Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

In thinking of qualities of “the good shepherd,” one who pursues the lost sheep, provides for, and protects them, Psalm 23 comes to mind. As one of my favorite psalms, I committed it to memory as a youngster and continue to draw strength from these comforting words:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Although the references from the Old Testament reveal God’s compassion as a shepherd who watches over Israel, in the New Testament as well we find that Jesus Christ uses a similar metaphor in John 10:14-15 (NKJV):

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

1 Peter 5:2 (AMP) speaks of the Church as “the flock of God” and exhorts elders, pastors (another term for shepherd) and spiritual leaders:

shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm;

We, thus, see that metaphor of the shepherd and his sheep extends throughout the Scriptures.

We close our discussion with one of the most popular songs of worship related to the figure of the Good Shepherd: the Don Moen classic: “Like a Shepherd He Leads Us”:

 

The Lord is the good shepherd

March 17, 2017

The Verse of the Day for March 17, 2017 opens one of the most recognized passages from the Psalms:

Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)

[The Lord the Shepherd of His People] [A Psalm of David.] The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

In the Gospel of John, we note seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree just who he is and what he came to do. One of the most recognized direct comparisons that his followers would recognize immediately is his reference to being “the Good shepherd,” a phrase that is used three times to show completion of a unified figure:

In John 10:11, the Lord Jesus Christ states,

“I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

In the following verses the Lord also speaks of himself in this way:

John 10:14-15 (NKJV):

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

These verses indicate that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep.

In thinking of the qualities of “the good shepherd,” Psalm 23 in its entirety comes to mind, as one of my favorite psalms committed to memory as a youngster and from which I continue to draw strength:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

In Psalm 23 we also find the Hebrew expression Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd), also translated “The Lord shepherds me.” The name “Jehovah” denotes God, the Creator in relationship with His creation. Another word derived from “Raah” is “Rea,” translated “friend” or “companion.” Upon closer examination, we see God’s desire for intimacy with His people, revealed in the name Jehovah-Raah: “The Lord, my shepherd” or “The Lord, my friend.”

One of the most popular songs of worship related to the figure of the Good Shepherd is the Don Moen classic: “Like a Shepherd He Leads Us”:

How comforting to know that the Lord, indeed, is our shepherd and that he is certainly a good one.

Surely goodness

February 5, 2017

Psalm 33_4-5

The Verse of the Day for February 5, 2017 is found in Psalm 33:4-5 in the New Living Translation:

For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The New King James Version put it this way:

For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Verse 5 speaks of the “goodness of the Lord” that fills the whole Earth, bringing to mind one of the themes for the New Year: “2017 Unlimited Goodness and Unlimited Favor.”

Without question, the goodness of God surrounds us and sustains us every day. The Psalmist reiterates this truth:

Psalm 27:13 (KJV)

I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

The Holman Standard Bible boldly declares:

Psalm 31:19

How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.

God’s goodness toward us is expressed in Jesus Christ, who acknowledged that there is no one good except the Father. The very essence of God is goodness which believers personalize when we proclaim:

Oh, my goodness,

Oh, my gracious,

Oh, my goodness, gracious Lord.

Romans 2:4 (NKJV) raises this question regarding God’s goodness:

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

The lyrics to another song also ask the same question and provide an answer:

Don’t you know the goodness of God leads us to repentance?

He has cancelled the curse and commuted our sentence.

By His gift of love and grace, Christ has taken our place

And redeemed us from the hand of the enemy.

Open your eyes and you will see

His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.

Yes, the goodness of God leads us to repentance.

Yes, the goodness of God leads us to repentance.

As Christian believers, we give thanks to God for His grace and goodness. With our lips we give praise and bless the Lord, singing of His goodness. One of the most often quoted Old Testament passages is Psalm 23 which mentions the goodness of the Lord in the last verse:

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The last verse reminds us that goodness, like a rear guard, a powerful “back-up,” follows us throughout our lives. Israel Houghton shares this lively musical reminder of this life-sustaining truth:

Like a shepherd, the Good Shepherd

December 6, 2016

john-10-11In the Gospel of John, we have been examining the seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree just who he is and what he came to do. One of the most recognized direct comparisons that his followers would recognize immediately is his reference to being “the good shepherd,” a phrase that is used three times to show completion of a unified figure:

In John 10:11, the Lord Jesus Christ states,

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

In the Verse of the Day for December 6, 2016, he also speaks of himself in this way:

John 10:14-15 (NKJV):

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

These verses indicate that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep.

In thinking of qualities of “the good shepherd,” Psalm 23 comes to mind, as one of my favorite psalms committed to memory as a youngster and from which I continue to draw strength:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

One of the popular songs of worship related to the figure of the Good Shepherd is the Don Moen classic: “Like a Shepherd He Leads Us”:

How comforting to know that Lord, indeed, is our shepherd, and he is certainly a good one.

God’s restoration business

November 3, 2016

Rather than expounding upon the Verse of the Day, once again we examine the Quote of the Day for November 3, 2016 where we find this comforting reminder:

“God is in the restoration business. He delights in transforming lives through the healing touch of the Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemers and restores and makes whole every wounded soul who calls out for help.”

So often as believers we will find ourselves in what seems to be a horrible mess, generally one of our own making, and we cry out to our Heavenly Father to come to our rescue once more. In thinking about such recurring incidents, I recall a teaching that discussed “Moving from Rescue to Restoration” in an effort to encourage and strengthen believers as we undergo that process. The Quote of the Day also brings to mind God ultimate desire to rescue and restore.

The accompanying scripture reveals God’s plans and purpose for His people, as the New Living Testament renders Jeremiah 29:11-14 in this way:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

Although the words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, we recognize the truth expressed in Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel whom God will rescue from captivity and restore their fortunes.

When I think of the word “restoration,” I recall special retreat center where ministers could visit and be refreshed and restored in a healing atmosphere of love and compassion. While visiting this location nestled in the rolling hills of Virginia 10 years ago, I was inspired to write the following expression of what transpired during my visit:

Restoration Rivers

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

  He leads me beside the still waters.

 He restores my soul;

Psalm 23

 

By the still waters, God sat me down, and I wept,

Not in sorrow, but my soul overflowed with joy

When I recalled that He never slumbered nor slept

And what He designed for good nothing can destroy.

I released burdens, and without hesitation

Abba, Father assured me that He sees and cares.

As I wept by the rivers of restoration,

His heart of compassion was touched by fervent prayers.

In the hammock of love, the Spirit cradled me

And caressed my weary mind with a gentle breeze,

As I reflected on this phase of my journey,

While resting under a canopy of oak trees.

Our great Shepherd is faithful and still delivers;

Follow his leading to Restoration Rivers.

The Quote of the Day and its accompanying verses also bring to mind this powerful song restoration by Kevin Levar, “I Will Restore” the perfect way to cap off this blog entry:

The Good Shepherd: Like a shepherd he leads us

March 17, 2016

Psalm 23--2

The Verse of the Day for March 17, 2016 is taken Psalm 23:1-3 in the Holman Standard Christian Bible, one of the most recognized and recited passages in the Old Testament:

[Psalm 23] [The Good Shepherd] [A Davidic psalm.] The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Additional specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be seen in the remaining verses of Psalm 23, one of my favorite psalms that I committed to memory as a youngster and a source from which I continue to draw strength:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 was also the inspiration behind this brief reflective piece:

Spring Green

Psalm 23

Grass green hillsides arch

and flow toward a quiet stream

where rest newborn lambs.

In the Gospel of John, we find seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree who he is and what he came to do. He speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11:

“I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

In John 10:14-15 he reiterates this point:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

This indicates that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

Listen to this dramatization of the words of Jesus Christ from John 10:1-18 with its references to the Good Shepherd:

The classic Don Moen composition also describes the Lord: “Like a shepherd, he leads us”:

Goodness of the Lord

February 5, 2016

Psalm 33_4-5

The Verse of the Day for February 5, 2016 comes Psalm 33:4-5 (NLT):

For the word of the Lord holds true,
and we can trust everything he does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The New King James Version speaks of the “goodness of the Lord”:

For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Without question, the goodness of God surrounds us and sustains us every day. The Psalmist reiterates this truth:

Psalm 27:13 (KJV)

I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

The Holman Standard Bible boldly declares:

Psalm 31:19

How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.

God’s goodness toward us is expressed in Jesus Christ, who acknowledged that there is no one good except the Father. The very essence of God is goodness which believers personalize when we proclaim: “Oh, my goodness! Oh, my gracious! Oh, my goodness, gracious, Lord!”

The lyrics to this original song also speak of

The Goodness of the Father

For the goodness of the Father ever abides with us.

From his goodness flows his favor,

O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

He has promised goodness to his servants,

He has clothed us with salvation.

Let us rejoice in His goodness, and declare that only the Lord, our God, is good.

 

O how good, He’s so good, beyond compare,

Exquisite and rare, He’s so good.

O how good, He’s so good,

Come join with me: O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Romans 2:4 (NKJV) raises this question regarding God’s goodness:

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

The lyrics to another song also ask the same question and provide answers:

Don’t you know the goodness of God leads us to repentance?

He has cancelled the curse and commuted our sentence.

By His gift of love and grace, Christ has taken our place

And redeemed us from the hand of the enemy.

Open your eyes and you will see

His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.

Yes, the goodness of God leads us to repentance.

Yes, the goodness of God leads us to repentance.

As Christian believers, we give thanks to God for His grace and goodness. With our lips we give praise and bless the Lord and sing of His goodness. One of the most quoted passages from the Old Testament is Psalm 23, one of my favorites that I committed to memory years ago, mentions the goodness of the Lord in the last verse:

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The last verse reminds us that goodness, like a rear guard, a powerful “back-up,” follows us throughout our lives. Israel Houghton shares this lively musical reminder of this life-sustaining truth:

The Good Shepherd: yet another metaphor

December 6, 2015

John 10--14

Some of the recent Verses of the Day have been taken from passages that reveal seven metaphors spoken by Jesus, all of which occur in the Gospel of John. In these scriptural references where the Lord attempts to describe himself in order to help his listeners to better understand who he is. Metaphors provide direct comparisons between two subjects, in an effort to paint a vivid mind picture of one object in terms of the other.

The Verse of the Day for December 6, 2015 is one of two references to the Good Shepherd:

John 10:14-15 (AMP):

I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep.

Some of the specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be found in Psalm 23, one of the most recognized and recited passages from the Book of Psalms:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

The second metaphorical reference to Jesus states, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” This indicates that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The following video provides a graphic and musical illustration of Psalm 23:

It is certainly comforting to know that Lord, indeed, is our shepherd and that he is a good one.
The classic song of worship by Don Moen describes the Lord: “Like a Shepherd”:

Tasting the goodness of God

March 20, 2015

Thwe Verse of the Day makes reference to the "milk of the Word" which believers should desire.

The Verse of the Day makes reference to the “milk of the Word” which believers should desire, as new born babes.

The Verse of the Day for March 20,  2015 comes from 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The last phrase of the verse brings to mind that the essence of God is goodness. He is the embodiment of all that is good. The following blog entry which has been revised and re-posted takes a good look at the “goodness of the Lord.”

Psalm 33:4-5(KJV) makes this declaration:

For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.

He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Without question, the goodness of God surrounds us and sustains us every day. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. God’s goodness toward us is expressed in Jesus Christ, who acknowledged that there is no one good except the Father. The very essence of God is goodness which this song makes known:

The Goodness of the Father

For the goodness of the Father leads us to repentance,

From his goodness flows his favor,

O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

He has promised goodness to his servants,

He has clothed us with salvation.

Let us rejoice in goodness, and declare that only the Lord, our God, is good.

O how good, He’s so good, beyond compare,

Exquisite and rare, He’s so good.

O how good, He’s so good,

Come join with me: O, taste and see that the Lord is good.

As I completed the poem I also recalled the lyrics to an original song that I composed when I coordinated a summer children’s summer program ten years ago and used music as a means of memorizing scripture. In this case, Psalm 34:8:

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Here is the song:

Oh, Taste and See

Chorus:

Oh, taste and see, see that the Lord is good, so good.

Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.

Verse 1

Partake of the Word of God,

Taste and see that it is good.

It will fill you up

More than any kind of food.

(Chorus)

Verse 2

Partake of the Word of God,

Let it richly dwell within.

It will help you grow.

It’s better than a vitamin.

(Chorus)

Verse 3

Partake of the Word of God,

Read the Word and put God first.

It will feed your soul

And satisfy your thirst.

(Chorus)

Oh, taste and see, see that the Lord is good, so good.

Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.

As Christian believers, we give thanks to God for His grace and goodness. With our lips we give praise and bless the Lord and sing of His goodness. One of the most quoted passages from the Old Testament is Psalm 23, one of my favorites that I committed to memory years ago, mentions the goodness of the Lord in the last verse:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The last verse reminds us that goodness, like a rear guard, a powerful “back-up,” follows us throughout our lives. Israel Houghton shares this lively musical reminder of this life-sustaining truth:

Let us pray: Gracious God, our Father. We praise you and acknowledge that the Lord is good and that His mercy endures forever. We have tasted of God’s goodness, and we know that goodness of God draws us unto repentance, and that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. Even now, we are walking in confidence that you are with us and that your grace and mercy go before us, as we endeavor to walk in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ, who leads us into victory. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.