Psalm 23 offers rest. I’ll take some of that.
Psalm 23 offers consolation. Put me down for some of that too.
Psalm 23 offers protection. I don’t see people of God getting protected from much of anything but if God figures out how to protect us, by all means, protect me.
Psalm 23 offers permanent living quarters. I’m placing an order for permanent living quarters in the North Carolina mountains, South Carolina beaches, and Maui, Hawaii. For good measure (my mama taught me it doesn’t hurt to ask), I’d also like something in the Swiss Alps.
No wonder we like Psalm 23. Perhaps we should take a closer look at the Psalm, though. ”To be a sheep in the biblical world is an ambiguous fate. Shepherds, after all, do not keep sheep for the love of it. . . Sheep are a shepherd’s way of making more sheep.” (Hugh S. Pyper, An Unsuitable Book: The Bible As Scandalous Text, p. 25)
David Clines has drawn attention to another such ambiguity implicit in the Psalm: sheep go to the Lord’s temple to become lamb chops. Such an image undermines – well it annihilates, the very image of security the poem has been as such points to establish. (Pyper, 25)