New Living Translation

Psalm 23 Came Out of David’s Humble Experience

I recently saw a Twitter post about a garbage man who was continuing to do his job amidst the COVID-19 quarantine. I thought how integral his role is in all our health and safety. So often we take for granted those around us who have jobs that aren’t in the spotlight. God calls each of us to do everything as if we are doing it for him (Colossians 3:23). This excerpt from the Africa Study Bible helps us understand Psalm 23 wasn’t out of David’s greatness, but humble experience as a shepherd boy.

Article from the Africa Study Bible

When David was tending his sheep, he had no idea how God would use his life experience. His experience in guarding the sheep gave him the skills and confidence he needed to slay Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40). In this most beloved psalm, David writes from his experience under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to write a poem that is one of the most beautiful and encouraging things ever written—perhaps the most quoted part of the Old Testament. How many of us have gone to take comfort in the words of Psalm 23 in our darkest moments?

David was assigned the care of sheep as he was the youngest and least qualified of his brothers. When they went off to war, he was left at home. Shepherds were generally looked down upon in society, yet without David’s experience with sheep, Goliath would have not been slain and we would not have Psalm 23. Most young people, even new university graduates, must start with the work nobody else wants to do. Whatever God has called you to do when you are young, do not despise the experience. Work hard, learn all you can, and someday in the future you may be very surprised how God uses it to equip you for your most important work and to greatly bless others.

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