The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Discussion and Application:
1. Verse 5 starts, “You prepare a table…” What does it suggest to note that God prepares the table?
2. David says the table is prepared “before me.” What did he mean by this? What does this do to the one who sees a table being prepared before your very eyes? How do we “see” this?
3. Why do you think David added the phrase, “in the presence of my enemies?”
4. Keller talks about how a shepherd would apply oil to the head of sheep to combat certain bugs and parasites. If oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit what are the spiritual applications?
5. When David says “my cup overflows” is he making a faith statement or a statement of fact? What is the power behind making such a statement?
6. In verse 6 what distinction is David trying to make by using the words “goodness” and “love?” (A difference between emotional happiness and a legal happiness?)
7. In what sense is it true to say that when you start following the Shepherd eternal life starts now? Is there a sense in which this is not true?
8. What is the power in grasping the truth of “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever?”
9. Keller writes about how sheep with a bad shepherd long for the leading of a good shepherd. It seems they look with envy across the field at the contentedness of the sheep who follow the Good Shepherd. Do you see the spiritual application? How does this truth impact you?
10. What is your favorite verse or thought in this Psalm? Why?