Psalm 23

Psalm 23  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
There is nothing more difficult to man than to be satisfied with God. Even a spiritually-minded Christian would find it hard to spend three days alone with God. What a void he would feel! what need of intercourse with others beside God I Brotherly intercourse is, indeed, good in its place; but the Lord would have us able to enjoy Him alone, and to lean on Him alone. To accomplish this, He permits us to find in our path many things that break the heart, and reveal the nothingness of all that is not Himself. He would have us satisfied with the thought, " Thou art with me" (ver. 4), instead of leaning on any one else. That which renders it so hard for us to be satisfied with God, is the weakness of our faith and the lusts of our hearts, which lead us to seek a thousand things beside God.
Jesus took, in His ineffable grace, that place before God which He would have us occupy before Himself. Therefore, though He is in reality the Shepherd (as we see John 10), He became one of the flock, as we see Him in this psalm. He was willing to be our forerunner in the rough path we have to tread, and thus to know, experimentally, the difficulties of the way; and while in this rough path He could say, " I shall not want. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness." He could say this, in a terrific pathway as far as the flesh was concerned: in the path of humiliation unto death: because Jesus knew how to be satisfied with God alone. "THOU ART WITH ME."
This it was which smoothed the path for him; a table was prepared for Him; GOD, AND GOD'S WILL, were, so to speak, that which was spread upon it, and which was His meat, unknown to the world; meat which was His delight and the restoring of His soul.
He was satisfied in the Father. " I am not alone, for the Father is with me." Not that He despised His disciples-far from it He loved them with the greatest tenderness, and as a man, He would have desired to be surrounded by them during His sufferings, " Tarry ye here with me." But HE WAS ALONE in His anguish, and said, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance (Psa. 42). Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for THOU ART WITH ME."
It is impossible for the soul which walks thus, leaning upon God alone, and rejoicing in Him only, not to find the path smooth, and to have to say, even after a weary and trying day, " Thou makest me to lie down in green pastures," for if the soul has received refreshment FROM GOD, and has been satisfied WITH GOD in the midst of trying circumstances, it will find all to be green pasture and still waters.
What the Father was to Jesus while treading this path, Jesus is to us now. " As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the father: so he that eateth me even he shall live by me."