Chapter 23: The Lord is my Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
This is probably one of the most famous Psalms, and with it accompanies a simple title; “A Psalm of David”, David most likely wrote this Psalm while he was a King, yet was not ashamed of his past as a shepherd.
Dying soldiers have died easier as it was read to them; hospitals have been illuminated and patients have been comforted in their last hours. This Psalm has visited the prisoner, and broken his chains. It has made the dying Christian slave freer than his master. I would have to say that this is one of the most memorized psalms. Ministers have used it to comfort people who are going through severe personal trials, suffering illness, or dying.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
As David thought about his relationship with God, he made the analogy of a Shepherd and his sheep. God was like a shepherd to David, and David was like a sheep to God.
“…I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me…” (Psalms 23:4)
David, like all of us have been, is going through and will continue to go through trials, and obstacles that are part of life. David must have been in a dark place, but he notes that with God as his shepherd and the “rod” of the shepherd will comfort him. We too can have comfort knowing that even if the situation we are in feels like we are “walking in the shadow of the valley of death” that the Lord is aware and is in control, if we do our part and leave the rest to Him… He will comfort us!
“…thou anointest my head with oil…” (Psalms 23:5)
In this verse, David talks about the blessings that can be given with oil. In James 5:14-15 it reads; “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
Call the Elders of the church, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; those that are given the power to heal the sick, have what is called the “Melchizedek Priesthood”. The male missionaries of the church are called “Elders” and also have this Priesthood. It should not be assumed that with this priesthood, people have the ability to “magically” heal the sick. The person who is receiving the blessing also needs to have faith that they can be healed. We must also recognize that sometimes (even with a blessing, and much prayer and faith) it is still up to the will of the Lord.
Chapter 24: Repent! And Enter into the Kingdom of God
A Psalm of David.
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalms 24:3-4)
David first makes it clear that everything on the Earth is the Lord’s. David then goes on to say that only those who have; clean hands, pure hearts, and have not participated in vanity (Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements) or sworn deceitfully. We cannot just swear that Jesus is our Savior. We must do good, follow the commandments and keep yourself clean. If we do that, and swear that Jesus is Lord, then we WILL be SAVED!