4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
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.
6 Surely[e] goodness and mercy[f] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
Psalm 23 is one of the most comforting passages in the Bible.
In its opening lines, we are transported to a serene place of green pastures and still waters. A restful image.
In the middle section, the prospect of the valley of death’s dark shadow is presented, and then pushed aside for us by God’s rod and staff which combats evil. A safe and secure image
And then, in the closing strophe, we picture what it will be like to dwell in God’s house, where there is a table set before us (which I imagine will be piled high with all my favorite foods) and our cup is filled to the brim. An inviting image.
It is all good for the soul.
Lord, you are my shepherd. As I follow your tender lead, my needs are indeed provided for. Let me trust in your guidance and care today and my whole life long. Amen.