Right, here’s a bit of a quiz for all you music fans. Do you know the songs for all these opening lyrics? The answers will be at the bottom but try not to cheat!
So how about this one: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. Got it? It’s one of the most recognisable sentences in the world. Psalm 23 is arguably the most well known part of the Bible. It pops up in films, songs and books; from Quentin Tarantino movies to Coolio rap songs. Arranged into a hundred different versions, sung by thousands of choirs, the Psalm has been a place where millions of people have encountered God.
What’s so special about Psalm 23? Why does it hold the impact and weight that it does? Maybe because all of our desires, emotions and experiences are there. The search for peace ends in the green pastures and still waters. Evil is overcome. We find purpose and encouragement for tomorrow.
We realise that our God is not far off or distant or uninterested but he is our shepherd – protecting, guiding, leading and providing. Our deepest needs are met. Humanity has an itch and Psalm 23 scratches that itch in a profound and life-changing way.
Oh and the answers to the quiz?