Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Psalm 23

Before David became a king of Israel, he was a shepherd, defending sheep from bear and lions. (See 1 Samuel 17:34-37.)

When David later wrote a psalm about God's marvelous protection, he used his experiences as a shepherd as a starting point. "The LORD is my shepherd," he wrote, "I shall not want."

Psalm 23 has been a favorite ever since.

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff - they comfort me," David wrote.

Centuries later, Jesus adopted this imagery, calling himself a Good Shepherd who rescues sheep even when they stray. (See John 10:1-18.)

In the 1800s, Henry Baker re-wrote Psalm 23 as the hymn, "The King of love my shepherd is." Baker's poem includes imagery from a story Jesus tells in Luke 15:3-7.

"Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me, and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me."

God thank you that you care for us even when we go places we shouldn't. Thank you that you search for us in love and rejoice when you bring us home. Keep us on your paths. Thank you. Amen.