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Five promises of God from Psalm 23

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In Psalm 23:2-3, there are five specific things that are said about where God is leading us. These are the five promises of our Shepherd and we experience them in three ways:

  • Ultimately, Jesus is leading us to life in eternity in a “new heaven and new earth” where there will be no more sickness, pain, sorrow, or death. This will be the ultimate experience of these promises.
  • On the path to eternity, Jesus gives us glimpses of these promises, small tastes, but not their fulfillment. This world is not our final home, so the peace, joy, satisfaction, restoration we experience in this life is not complete.
  • In hard times, when we don’t seem to even have those glimpses, we still know we have the Shepherd. Better than the promises is the Promiser. As long as He is with us, we know He is leading us to that final home with Him. And He has said He will be with us till we get there, because that is what a good shepherd does!
Promise 1“He makes me lie down…” Psalm 23:2

Sheep don’t lie down unless they feel safe. The place our Shepherd leads us is a place of ultimate safety and rest. Until we get there, He is our protection and peace. So, even in the midst of chaos, we know that we can lie down in safety because He surrounds us and will bring us home!

Thank You, God, that You surround me so that I can rest!

Other Scriptures about God’s protection and rest: Psalm 91; Psalm 121; Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 11:28; Matthew 28:20; II Thessalonians 3:3; Isaiah 26:3

Promise 2“…in green pastures…” Psalm 23:2

The word translated “green” here is referring to the luscious, juicy, newly sprung grass that covers the pasture and makes it green. It’s a banquet as far as sheep are concerned. The place our Shepherd is leading us is a place of abundance. And until we get there, He provides all we need to get there. So, even in the midst of chaos, we know that we will have all that we need!

Thank You, God, that You always, abundantly give me beyond what I can even ask!

Other Scriptures about God’s abundant provision: Exodus 34:6; II Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 4:19; Luke 12:24; John 10:10

Promise 3“He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:2

The Hebrew word translated “still” here is a word that means to restore something that is devastated, barren, ruined into something that is glorious, full, beautiful. A desert to a garden. The place our Shepherd leads us is a place where we become all we were meant by God to be. Until we get there, our Shepherd makes up for our every shortcoming. So, even when we feel inadequate or a failure before Him, we know we can be confident because He is our completion. 

Thank You, God, that You are my completion and my confidence!

Other Scriptures about God’s restoration in us: II Corinthians 3:18; I John 3:20; Romans 8:33-34; II Corinthians 12:9; Isaiah 40:31; Ephesians 1:18-19; Romans 8:18

Promise 4“He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3

Literally, this phrase means my Shepherd returns my life to me. He finds me when I wander off. He rescues me from danger. He provides me what I need to live. The place our Shepherd leads us is a place of new life. Until we get there, He holds our lives in His hand. So, even when death itself seems to have the upper hand, He is our life.

Thank You, God, that You have given me and are giving me new life in Christ!

Other Scriptures about God’s new life: John 14:6; John 10:27-29; II Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:6; II Corinthians 5:1; Romans 8:11

Promise 5“He guides me in the paths of righteousness.” Psalm 23:3

Our Shepherd leads us on well-worn paths that are perfect for sheep. He doesn’t make the journey harder for us than it needs to be, and it is always a path others have taken before us. He is gentle and understanding of our limitations and chooses the right path for us accordingly. So, even when things look hard, they will never be too hard.

Thank You, God, that You always choose the right path for me!

Other Scriptures about God’s understanding and direction: I Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 55:22; Matthew 7:13-14; Psalm 103:14; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 119:165; John 16:1