What I’m Thinking: Honest Reassurance

We read Psalm 23 over and over again to find comfort. One of its great strengths is that it offers reassurance that is aware of the stresses we face.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the twenty-third Psalm (Psalm 23), possibly the best known of the Psalms, at least in the United States of America.

Curiously enough, that was not always so. A study done by a former Old Testament professor of mine, Dr. William Holladay, discovered that quotes from the 23rd Psalm increased dramatically in the late 1860s and early 1870s and stayed at about that level ever since.

You see, the 23rd Psalm is a psalm that we bring out in times of deep distress, when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, when there might be a table before us, but that table is set in the presence of enemies. The 23rd Psalm, although it is filled with reassuring imagery, is a reassurance that comes in the presence of sorrow, of fear, of actual danger.

That makes it an apt psalm for our times, as we watch the growing numbers and realize that for every one of these people who have gone into the hospital or have left the hospital on their way to be buried, every one of these people is a special soul to someone and in fact to a great number of someones. There is great lamentation in the country, in other countries, throughout the world right now.

And to that comes the honest reassurance of the 23rd Psalm, where a rod and staff are comfort in the midst of shadow, where a banquet is set even though there is danger all around. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,” and I shall dwell – you shall dwell – we shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on April 27, 2020

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