The King of Love My Shepherd Is

  • March 4, 2014
  • #8307

Psalm 23 has the power to comfort our souls, especially when we know who is our Shepherd--Jesus 

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with some beautiful words to an ancient Irish melody. Just listen:

The King of love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack while I am His And He is mine forever. 

Oh, I love that hymn, I’m singing it all the time. I think I sing it because I love the references that Jesus makes of Himself as Shepherd. I'm sure it’s why I love books about the 23rd Psalm, hymns like the one I've just sang, it could be a sermon, a poem like this one written by Mrs. J. R. Mott. It says:

The Lord is My Shepherd,
I shall not lack rest.
  For He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
So I shall not lack refreshment.
  He leadeth me beside the still waters.
I shall not lack forgiveness.
  Because He restoreth my soul.
I shall not lack guidance.
  For He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
I shall not lack companionship.
  For yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.
I shall not lack comfort at any time.
  [Why?] Because Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
I shall not lack food.
  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
I shall not lack joy.
  For Thou anointest my head with oil.
I shall not lack anything.
  For my cup runneth over.
Oh, and I shall not lack anything in this life.
  Because surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I shall not lack anything in eternity.
  For I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
—Mrs. J.R. Mott

Quite a poem, don’t you think? And I think I have time for one more story about the 23rd Psalm. This is how it goes:

“Some years ago at a drawing-room function, one of England’s leading actors was asked to recite for the pleasure of his fellow guests. He consented and asked if there was anything special that his audience would like to hear. After a moment’s pause, an old clergyman present said, ‘Could you, sir, recite to us the Twenty-third Psalm?’ A strange look passed over the actor’s face; he paused for a moment, and then said, ‘I can, and I will, upon one condition, and that is that after I have recited it, you, my friend, will do the same.’ ‘I?’ said the clergyman, in surprise. ‘But I am not an elocutionist. However, you wish it, I will do so.’ Impressively, the great actor began the psalm. His voice and his intonation were perfect. He held his audience spellbound, and as he finished, a great burst of applause broke from the guests. Then the old clergyman arose and began the psalm. His recitation was not remarkable; his intonation was not faultless. When he had finished, no sound of applause broke the silence, but there was not a dry eye in the room, and many heads were bowed. Then the actor rose to his feet again. His voice shook as he laid his hand upon the shoulder of the old clergyman and said, ‘I may have reached your eyes and ears, my friends; but this man, he reached your hearts. The difference is just this: I know the Twenty-third Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd.’”

© Joni and Friends


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