Bible Society of South Africa

Psalm 23 country - 2 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

The LORD our Shepherd

1The LORD is my shepherd;

I have everything I need.

Psalms 23:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

On a majestic, sun-dappled August morning, as my companion and I slowly navigated the tree-lined lane, our gaze was transfixed by grey, rugged mountains that rose loftily before us.

Then it was arrested by rich farmland nestled in the lush valley, while Cape Dutch-style cottages dotted the farm. Later, as befitting the setting, we had to praise God. Surely, par for the course when one so vividly encounters the work of his hands.

Later, as we wound our way around the citrus orchard, we found ourselves captivated by a pleasant fragrance and inhaled deeply; the heady scent: pure bliss.

Further exploration led us back to the grassy, pastoral scene. The rain had certainly transformed it into green pastures and the sheep were grazing, completely secure in their surroundings. The lambs – as cute as little buttons. And there was a stream nearby. This city girl was mesmerised.

Then it dawned on us: we were in Psalm 23 country. Joyfully, we recited the first verses of the psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)

In that precious moment, we felt like God had quietly shown up and revealed his heart. Overjoyed, I sensed that God, my Shepherd, had confirmed that, as always, he was firmly in control and leading the way.

He also revealed the concept of provision to me as the pastures were particularly verdant; his bountiful abundance unmistakable. The animals were secure; there was no fear in that pasture – the setting peaceful. And the quiet waters refreshed my soul.

That moment will always be treasured in our hearts; his revelatory presence and guidance in our lives palpable. The Bible: injected with pulsating with life! The psalm would forever evoke this scene in my mind’s eye – never again would it be abstract. No, I now understood it in a profound, new way. His mercy and goodness, oh how they followed me.

The priceless, resounding joy in my heart made could be likened to a giddy, young lamb skipping in a field. That feeling doesn’t get old, even if one is getting on in years. Evergreen are the lessons from the Word, so precious like honey from the honeycomb.

I invite you to join me as I meander in his Word over the next few weeks. Let’s rediscover just how amazing the Shepherd is.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being our Shepherd, for leading us with unerring certainty to exactly where you want us to be. We praise you that we can trust you to take us into green pastures, where you quieten our souls. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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