Raise your hand if you memorized Psalm 23 during your growing up years.
Go ahead, do it, raise your hand. Unless you are in class or some super public setting…you are excused.
Ok, now you can put them down.
Psalm 23 is prolific for many of us. In fact, it’s probably as familiar as John 3:16 for many Christians around the world.
But while we think of the love of the cross when we recite John 3:16, we recall Psalm 23 and think….”cool….sheep”.
We have to do better than this…especially if we are going to teach kids how AMAZING SAUCE this passage is.
So, let me insert a short passage from a book by one of my favorite authors, Robert J. Morgan.
In The Lord is My Shepherd, he discusses the unique power and significance of this ‘common’ Psalm.
And he CRUSHES it. This isn’t your ‘average’ Christian book on Psalm 23. For someone who is very familiar with the Bible, having grown up in church and in a Christian home, this book rocked my world. It’s THAT good.
So here’s a short passage from the book. I am picking up in the middle of a conversation between hikers in the Welsh mountains and a young shepherd boy….
Think of the five fingers on your left hand.
Showing him (the young shepherd boy) how to do it, the man gripped his thumb and said, “That stands for The. That’s an emphatic beginning.
Next, your index finger stands for the word Lord. Grasping his index finger, the man told the boy to ponder the goodness and grace of the Lord Jesus, who loved him.
Touching his longest finger, the man said, “This finger stands for the word, is. The Lord is alive and here with you right now, in the present tense.”
And the fourth finger stands for the fourth word in the verse: my. A wedding ring on the fourth finger, after all reminds us of the personal and exclusive relationship we have with the one we love.
And the little finger–the pinky stands for shepherd. When you come to the end of your hand, or to the end of any task, even to the end of life, you find the Shepherd still there, abiding always.”
Isn’t that amazing?
Every word from the first verse of Psalm 23 with a powerful and meaningful significance. We find all new power and inspiration simply by reciting this one verse, one finger at a time.
What if one week you were to take this simple idea and teach your kids about the power of this one verse?
(Hmmm…I feel a lesson idea coming on…)
What if we took to heart, in a whole new way, the fact that THE LORD, the one and only true God is our….shepherd.
The creator of the universe has a shepherd to sheep relationship with his children.
And what exactly does that mean?
Well, consider this…(also from Rob’s book):
In Hebrew, the word for friend is derived from the Hebrew term for shepherd. In biblical times, it wasn’t dogs that were man’s best friends, but sheep. They bonded with their shepherds and shepherds with them.
The Lord is telling us, through the Psalmist David, that He is our Shepherd. That is a HUGE deal when you consider the implications of what a sheep meant to a shepherd, and vice versa.
I guess you could say, after reading all of this, that the trick to explaining the power of Psalm 23 is…to go really slow.
So one more time:
THE – an emphatic beginning
LORD – the God of the universe knows our name and cares for us
IS – alive, present right now
MY – personal
SHEPHERD – there to love and care for usShare this post: