July 26, 2022 – Psalm 23 – Compassion

Today we’ll continue with some of your favorites (or the passages you have questions about).  Email (andy@stm-umc.org) or message me with any passages you’d like added or that you have a question about!

Today we are looking at Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 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
    my whole life long.

There is probably no other passage in Scripture, except maybe John 3:16, that we know as well as this one. I have probably read this passage in worship more than any other passage; I know that I’ve quoted it off the top of my head more than any other. 

This passage has comforted us, encouraged us, been a help to us in many difficult days. There are so many, so many places we could look at in this passage.  Entire books have been written about the Psalm.  Sermon series have been preached, word by word, line by line.  I almost don’t even know where to start.  

I think we’ll just look at the big picture of what this passage shows to us in a beautiful, powerful way.  God is a God of compassion. There are so many things in this passage that are just kind and compassionate.  

God doesn’t have to make us lie down in green pastures. Any will do. But He does it anyway.  

He doesn’t have to give us still water. Any will do.  But He does it anyway.  

He prepares tables. He anoints us with oil.  He walks with us in the dark valley.  He loves us and shows us such, such kindness. Such mercy.  Such compassion.  He doesn’t have to do this. It isn’t something He “has” to do. Yet He does.  Because He is a God of mercy, of kindness, and of compassion.  

Never doubt His loving kindness towards you. Never doubt His compassion towards you.  This Psalm comforts us because we see the compassionate heart of our God. Never, ever forget that.  

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