Tag Archives: Psalm 23

“Our guide and our God” by John Newton

“The Redeemer of sinners must be mighty. He must be all-sufficient to bless, and almighty to protect, those who come unto Him for safety and life. Such a one is our Shepherd.

This is He of whom we, through grace, are enabled to say, we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. We are His by every tie and right: He made us, He redeemed us, He reclaimed us from the hand of our enemies.

And we are His by our own voluntary surrender of ourselves; for though we once slighted, despised, and opposed Him, He made us willing in the day of His power.

He knocked at the door of our hearts; but we (at least I) barred and fastened it against Him as much and as long as possible: but when He revealed His love, we could stand out no longer.

Like sheep, we are weak, destitute, defenceless, prone to wander, unable to return, and always surrounded with wolves; but all is made up in the fullness, ability, wisdom, compassion, care, and faithfulness of our great Shepherd.

He guides, protects, feeds, heals, and restores, and will be our guide and our God even until death. Then He will meet us, receive us, and present us unto Himself, and we shall be near Him, and like Him, and with Him forever.”

–John Newton, “Letter XVI – November 5, 1774” in The Works of the John Newton Volume 1 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 494-495.

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“The God of love my sherpherd is” by George Herbert

The God of love my shepherd is,
And He that doth me feed:
While He is mine, and I am His,
What can I want or need?

He leads me to the tender grass,
Where I both feed and rest;
Then to the streams that gently pass;
In both I have the best.

Or if I stray, He doth convert
And bring my mind in frame:
And all this not for my desert,
But for His holy name.

Yea, in death’s shady black abode
Well may I walk, not fear:
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
To guide, Thy staff to bear.

Nay, Thou dost make me sit and dine,
Ev’n in my enemies sight:
My head with oil, my cup with wine
Runs over day and night.

Surely Thy sweet and wondrous love
Shall measure all my days;
And as it never shall remove,
So neither shall my praise.

–George Herbert, from “The 23rd Psalm” in Herbert: Poems (Everyman Library) (New York: Knopf, 2004), 226.

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Lord’s Day Hymn – “The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want”

Psalm 23
The Scottish Psalter, 1650

1  The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want.

2     He makes me down to lie

      In pastures green: He leadeth me

         the quiet waters by.

3  My soul He doth restore again;

         and me to walk doth make

      Within the paths of righteousness,

         ev’n for His own name’s sake.

4  Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,

         yet will I fear none ill:

      For Thou art with me; and Thy rod

         and staff me comfort still.

5  My table Thou hast furnished

         in presence of my foes;

      My head Thou dost with oil anoint,

         and my cup overflows.

6  Goodness and mercy all my life

         shall surely follow me:

      And in God’s house for evermore

         my dwelling-place shall be.

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“God is better than myriads of chariots” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Trembling brother, you would feel perfectly safe if you had your eyes opened to see the companies of angels that surround you. You would rejoice in your security if you saw horses of fire and chariots of fire encompassing you.

But such defenses are as nothing compared with those which are always around you. God is better than myriads of chariots. ‘The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels’; but the glory of it is that ‘the Lord is among them, as in Sinai.’ God is with every one of His children. We dwell in Him, and He dwells in us. ‘I in them, and they in me,’ says Christ.

A vital, everlasting union exists between every believing soul and God, and what cause can there be for fear? ‘Thou art with me.’ Oh for grace to be courageous pilgrims, and to make steady progress with heavenly company as our glory and defense.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, p. 34.

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“He is pledged to help us” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“This pilgrim, in divesting himself of fear, is not at all fanatical or ignorant, since he gives good reason for his attitude. ‘I will fear no evil,’ says he, ‘for thou art with me.’ Was there ever a better reason given under Heaven for being fearless than this—that God is with us? He is on our side. He is pledged to help us. He has never failed us. Where, then, is there room for terror when the omniscient, immutable God is on our side?

Let the heavens be dissolved, and the earth be melted with fervent heat, but let not the Christian’s heart be moved: let him stand like the great mountains, whose foundations are confirmed for ever, for the Lord God will not forsake His people or break His covenant. ‘I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.’

There is something more here than freedom from fear and a substantial reason for it, for the true believer rejoices in exalted companionship. ‘Thou art with me.’ Thou—Thou—Thou—the King of kings, before Whom every seraph veils his face. ‘Thou art with me.’ How brave that person ought to be who walks with the Lion of the tribe of Judah as his guard!”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, p. 34.

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“My Father is the captain” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“It is beautiful to see a child at perfect peace amid dangers which alarm all those who are with him. I have read of a little boy who was on board a vessel buffeted by the storm, and everyone was afraid, knowing that the ship was in grave danger.

There was not a sailor on board, certainly not a passenger, who was not alarmed. This boy, however, was perfectly happy, and was rather amused than frightened by the tossing of the ship. They asked him why he was so happy at such a time. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘my father is the captain. He knows how to manage.’

He did not think it possible that the ship could go down while his father was in command. There was folly in such confidence, but there will be none in yours if you believe with an equally unqualified faith in your Father, Who can and will bring safely into port every vessel that is committed to His charge. Rest in God and be quiet from fear of evil.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, p. 34.

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“Oh, if we had more faith!” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Providence makes special preparation for every tried saint. If you are God’s servant, and are called to trial, some singular providence, the like of which you have never read of, shall certainly happen to you to illustrate in your case the divine goodness and faithfulness. Oh, if we had more faith! Let us be sure that if we walk in at one end of the hollow way of affliction we shall walk out at the other. Who shall hinder us when God is with us?”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, p. 34.

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