What does Psalm 23 mean? How can it speak to us today?
Throughout the Bible, gardens, gardening, plants and trees take a central role. They are central to how God sees us and his world. He is potentially the ultimate gardener. Ultimately, this points to something deeper: that humanity should be the flower at the centre of God’s creation, flourishing as the master gardener tends his global garden.
Psalm 23 is one of the nation’s favourite psalms. We’ll all have heard it, but what is it all about? It’s a story of God as a caring shepherd and a caring host. It’s about God’s faithfulness to us today, as much as to the people who first heard it centuries ago.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even 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 overflows. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (ESV)