In this psalm, we will see faith operating in normal times, in times of danger, and in times of warfare.
Psalm 23:1… “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (KJV). Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is the basis for our faith. One of the foundation truths of Hebrews 6:1 is “faith toward God.” David is confessing the faith that is in his heart, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” If you have faith in God, then that faith will please the Lord. God in turn will reward you openly (Hebrews 11:6).
Psalm 23:2… “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (KJV). David was using his faith in both the physical and the spiritual, in normal times and in times of distress. He is speaking of the faith that brings rest from worries. The phrase “maketh me to lie down” means that God brings us and our emotions into balance. David knew that God would lead him correctly. Why should I worry? The Lord is my shepherd. Here David’s faith was in the areas of thought, mind, action, and speech.
Psalm 23:3… “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (KJV). Faith operates in the social sphere. Faith shaped David’s behavior, restoring his soul. This is referring to faith for daily renewal and refreshing. There are pressures in life. We face people, and sometimes there is a tendency to have unrighteous thoughts and deeds. Faith does not tear down; it builds up. Faith says, “Lord, You are in my heart today; I will trust You to guide me.”
Psalm 23:4… “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (KJV). David’s faith was now operating in times of difficult circumstances. He had times of darkness, of not knowing what to do, and of dangers. Faith will face realities. There are valleys that we go through, there are shadows, and there are evils. Notice David’s words, “The Lord is with me.” The words “rod and staff” are prophetic. He is saying to God, “Your rod (Messiah, Jesus) will come and His staff (Word) will comfort.” David was prophetically seeing Jesus taking care of the valleys and shadows. Jesus is the answer for a safe passage through life.
Psalm 23:5… “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (KJV). David’s faith talks of the area of warfare. The Lord takes care of all satanic oppressions. David’s mouth is releasing faith, by proclaiming that God can set a table for him even when the enemy is trying to starve him out by a siege. The devil very often tries to cut off our supply. Faith says, “God can overrule the devil.” Faith confesses that the anointing lifts a man or a woman into honor. Faith brings joy, a running-over joy (note Psalm 149:1). In the presence of the enemy there is abundance for the people of God. The enemy is defeated by the abundance that God gives to His people. The devil hates to see the Christian’s prosperity.
Psalm 23:6… “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (KJV). David’s faith is enjoying freedom; he is in the area of liberty. David’s faith is saying that God is faithful all the days of his life (“The just shall live by his faith,” Habakkuk 2:4). God is faithful on the “blue Mondays,” for “black Tuesdays,” for “ash Wednesdays,” for “thirsty Thursdays,” for “foggy Fridays,” for “yard work Saturdays,” and for “worship Sundays.” God is faithful. Faith believes that God is faithful. The mouth says, “God is faithful. Every day of my life goodness and mercy follow me. Every day my Lord is watching over me.” That’s the lifestyle of faith. Faith works in normal times and in difficult times. Believe it.
Build upon your faith. 2 Peter 1:5-8… “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV).
Eternal life does not begin with death. It begins with your faith in Jesus Christ.
Pastor George Belobaba
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