1 My Shepherd will supply my need;
the LORD God is his name:
in pastures fresh he makes me feed,
beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back,
when I forsake his ways;
and leads me, for his mercy's sake,
in paths of truth and grace.
2 When I walk through the shades of death
your presence is my stay;
one word of your supporting breath
drives all my fears away.
Your hand, in sight of all my foes,
shall still my table spread;
my cup with blessings overflows,
your oil anoints my head.
3 The sure provisions of my God
attend me all my days;
O may your house be my abode,
and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
while others go and come;
no more a stranger or a guest,
but like a child at home.
Psalm 23 has inspired numerous paraphrases and hymn texts, including this text by Isaac Watts. Watts included it in his large 1719 collection of psalm paraphrases, The Psalms of David Imitated.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook
This song expresses trust in the faithfulness of God who will care for us as a shepherd faithfully cares for his sheep. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1 says, “He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact all things must work together for my salvation.”
Additionally, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10, Question and Answer 28 says that the providence of God leads me to trust him fully, being “patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love.”
Belgic Confession, Article 13 is clear to testify that he “watches over us with fatherly care,” and “in this thought we rest, knowing that God holds in check the devils and all our enemies, who cannot hurt us, without divine permission and will.”