Here’s an excerpt from He Makes Me Lie Down in Green Pastures; He Leads Me beside Still Waters, Michael G. McKelvey’s contribution to the August issue of Tabletalk:
Psalm 23 provides us with a wonderful example of God’s care and protection in imagery that engages the imagination. But for the contemporary mind, the background of this imagery may be unknown to many. The shepherd imagery is actually a metaphor for kingship in the ancient Near East. So for David to say, “Yahweh is my shepherd,” implies more than a lovely pastoral metaphor; he is saying, “Yahweh is my [shepherd-]king.” Thus, David sings in this psalm of the divine King who guides and sustains him, and this is initially seen in verse 2. Using the pastoral metaphor, David notes what God does for him: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” As we look closely at the language of this verse, it becomes clear that God’s care for His people is extensive and all-encompassing.
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