|First Line:||The LORD my shepherd rules my life|
|Title:||The LORD, My Shepherd, Rules My Life|
|Versifier:||Christopher M. Idle (1977)|
|Copyright:||© 1982, Hope Publishing Co.|
A profession of joyful trust in the LORD as the good Shepherd-King.
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = v. 3
st. 3 = v. 4
st. 4 = v. 5
st. 5 = v. 6
Psalm 23's tranquil confession of faith and hope builds on the common ancient Near East and Old Testament metaphor of the king as shepherd of his people. God is the true Shepherd-King, providing his people their every need (st. 1-2), protecting them against every danger (st. 3), and welcoming them to a banquet of bounty and fellowship at the LORD's royal table in the face of their enemies (st. 4). The people thus have the sure hope of God's unfailing care and of ready access to God's presence (st. 5). Jesus' use of the shepherd image (John 10) has further endeared this psalm to Christians everywhere.
The 1977 versification by Christopher M. Idle (PHH 20) was first published in Jesus Praise (1982). He wrote it, he said, "to provide a version of the twenty-third Psalm in familiar meter which would avoid the archaisms and inversions of the established sixteenth-century version from the Scottish Psalter" (161). Other settings of Psalm 23 include 161, 162, and 550.
As an expression of trust, Psalm 23 is appropriate for many liturgical uses, including baptism, the Lord's Supper, weddings, and funeral services.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook