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Psalm 23 - Placing the Horse Before the Cart
by Gary Sims
03/01/05
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The Songs
Psalm 23 - Placing the Horse Before the Cart


Key Verses:
(NRSV)

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of death I fear no evil for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”


Points to Contemplate:
  • Is God leading you beside still waters? Has He restored you soul? When the darkness of fear and doubt fills your heart are you able to take solace in God's green pastures and allow Him to fill you with His peace? What does it feel like to have your soul restored? Are you reenergized and filled with confidence? Are you ready to take on the world and face whatever it dishes out? Do you feel more hopeful and do you see more good than evil in the world?

  • Is God leading you in His paths of righteousness? Or are you leading Him into your paths of self-righteousness? Who is doing the leading? Have you developed ideas of right and wrong and look to God to justify your way of thinking? Do you search the Bible for verses that tend to agree with your stance and opinions? Do you find yourself praying for God to bless your actions and deeds? Or do you pray for the wisdom, guidance, and sensitivity to be able to do what God would have you do?

  • For what are you anointed? If God has blessed your life and His bounty is overflowing, what is your response? Does He bless you simply because He loves you? Are you simply a recipient of goodness and mercy? Or, is it possible that in your anointing you have been called to do kingly things in kingly ways? What new things, today are you going to do in God's name as you follow His pathway to righteousness?
Promise of the Gospel:

In response to a comment about having God on the side of the North during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said that we should not claim God's blessings and endorsements for the actions we take. Instead, we should pray and worry earnestly whether we are on God's side and that we are following where He is leading.1 In order to follow God in paths of righteousness we must become willing to put God first. If our cart becomes overly full with agendas and preconceived ideas and then, if we turn to God to push it through life, we will find that the horse is on the wrong side of the cart and we end up going no where. When we look to God and follow, regardless of where He leads, we will find that we are richly blessed and we will be anointed to do amazing things in and for His kingdom.

1"God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get it", Copyright © 2005 by Jim Wallis, HarpersCollins Publishers, Inc., pp. xiv.

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