Psalm 23 is one of the most well known and beloved of the Psalms among the young and old. The image of the Great Shepherd is vividly portrayed, whatever the situation, God is with us and will bring us through.
1 The LORD is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 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.
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 loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the LORD’s house forever.
1 Surely God* is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone.
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the arrogant,
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For there are no struggles in their death,
but their strength is firm.
5 They are free from burdens of men,
neither are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride is like a chain around their neck.
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge with fat.
Their minds pass the limits of conceit.
8 They scoff and speak with malice.
In arrogance, they threaten oppression.
9 They have set their mouth in the heavens.
Their tongue walks through the earth.
10 Therefore their people return to them,
and they drink up waters of abundance.
11 They say, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked.
Being always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
and washed my hands in innocence,
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
and punished every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus”;
behold, I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand this,
it was too painful for me;
17 Until I entered God’s sanctuary,
and considered their latter end.
18 Surely you set them in slippery places.
You throw them down to destruction.
19 How they are suddenly destroyed!
They are completely swept away with terrors.
20 As a dream when one wakes up,
so, Lord,† when you awake, you will despise their fantasies.
21 For my soul was grieved.
I was embittered in my heart.
22 I was so senseless and ignorant.
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you.
You have held my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your counsel,
and afterward receive me to glory.
25 Whom do I have in heaven?
There is no one on earth whom I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart fails,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from you shall perish.
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.
28 But it is good for me to come close to God.
I have made the Lord the LORD‡ my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
1 To you I do lift up my eyes,
you who sit in the heavens.
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress;
so our eyes look to the LORD, our God,
until he has mercy on us.
3 Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us,
for we have endured much contempt.
4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scoffing of those who are at ease,
with the contempt of the proud.
Passages from the World Messianic Bible