Among Christians, it might be the most often-quoted and frequently-memorized set of verses in the Old Testament. The themes of comfort, reassurance, and God’s provision for His people have resonated with even non-believers across the ages.
This psalm, written by King David, the former shepherd boy, may have been composed near the end of David’s life. He was well acquainted not only with sheep and shepherding but also with the Lord as his shepherd. The psalm has a pastoral setting that is vastly different from David’s previous psalm (Psalm 22), which evokes the image of a battlefield. Psalm 23 is meant to inspire calm.
The Lord is personal to David, and He provides everything David needs. As the Good Shepherd, He guides David to green pastures and calm waters. All is peaceful! He refreshes David’s soul and directs him in the way of righteousness, thereby protecting the Good Shepherd’s reputation. Even if David encounters life-threatening trouble, he does not fear because the Lord, the Good Shepherd walks with him.