After the battle referred to in Psalm 20, David now gives thanks to God for victory in that battle. Though the Psalm seems to refer to David, it also seems to have a Messianic hint in its reference to the eternal feature of the King's reign.
Psalm 22 seems like a cry of anguish from David. Though written a thousand years before the days of Jesus, it is so vivid a description of the crucifixion of Jesus that one would think the writer to have personally been present at the cross. This Psalm refers to Jesus' dying words (verse 1); the sneers from his enemies (verses 7 and 8); the piercing of His hands and feet (verse 16); and the parting of His garments (verse 18). Some of the statements are not even applicable to David; nor to any known event in history except the crucifixion of Jesus.
The "good" Shepherd of Psalm 22 becomes the "great" Shepherd of Psalm 23. This Psalm is the best-loved chapter in the Old Testament. Beecher said something like this: "This Psalm has flown like a bird up and down the earth, singing the sweetest song ever heard. It has charmed more griefs to rest than all the philosophies of the world. It will go on singing to your children, and to my children, and to their children, till the end of time. And when its work is done, it will fly back to the bosom of God, fold its wings, and sing on forever in the happy chorus of those it had helped to bring there.".
The theme of Psalm 23 is "I shall not want." Because Jesus is the Great Shepherd, the Great High Priest, "I shall not want" for rest and refreshment, for restoration and righteousness, for protection in trouble, for provision in the wilderness, and for a home to go to at the end of the day.
The Great Shepherd is now revealed as the Chief Shepherd in Psalm 24; the King of glory appearing to acknowledge and reward His sheep; the return of the King to Zion! This present earth is under the sway of sin and Satan, and though it is the Lord's by creation and redemption, it has not yet been delivered from bondage. But, thank God, one day Jesus will return to the earth to claim His inheritance! Then the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord!
If Christ is your Good Shepherd, and you have received Him as your Saviour, then let Him be your Great Shepherd to guide and bless your life. Then, when He returns as the Chief Shepherd, you will be ready to meet Him.
Index of Daily Devotions