Psalm 23, 2


1 The Lord Is My Shepherd. A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Dear Readers,


I particularly like the stamp which I am showing you today. It could be a sermon without words. We see a shepherd leading his small flock of sheep to a meadow by a river. I counted 12 sheep. Between the branches of the tree, we see a black dog. He is watching that no sheep turns back to the road. Because there is a bus crossing the bridge. The road is dangerous for the sheep.


At the top right of the stamp there is a portrait of Elizabeth II, former British Queen. The stamp is in memory of 350 years of Royal Mail service.


To me, Psalm 23 is like a "royal" psalm. Because the good shepherd JESUS is also a king. He is ruler over the whole world. The risen Christ says (Gospel of Matthew 28, 18): „All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.“


This King Jesus is not infinitely far away, but very close like the shepherd on the stamp with his sheep. Jesus, the good shepherd, and king knows where I can find a resting place for my soul. He knows the pasture I need. The pasture my soul needs is God's love. Where God's love is, there is space to live. This is the place which my heart needs every day. Every person needs the love of God. The freshwater for which Jesus leads me to, is the truth. The good shepherd the Lord Jesus does not lead his people to the dirty, poisoned water of lies. This dirty broth of lies destroys people. Jesus wants to save us from this. Jesus says (John's Gospel 14, 6): „I am the way and the truth and the life. No one will come to The Father except through me”.


Whoever entrusts himself to the good shepherd Jesus and listens to his word (Bible) finds God's love and the truth. Jesus leads him to a new life in God's presence. Jesus says (Gospel of John 10:27+28): “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one will snatch them out of my hand.” Following him means listening to him and trusting his word.


If you look at the stamp, you may think: Why is the shepherd walking behind his sheep? Isn´t he supposed to lead his flock?  Jesus says we should follow him. But Jesus is also the good shepherd who is behind us. The one who follows us when we want to run away from him. We are to reach our destination safely! I am glad and grateful for that. I know that he does not lose sight of us. 


I like this stamp from the royal post office. How about seeing Psalm 23 as a love letter from God? Written both, for you and me! Royal mail from our good shepherd and King Jesus Christ!


Thank you for listening to me. I cordially invite you to the next devotion with stamps on July 15 with Psalm 23, 3. Until then I wish you God's blessing and preservation through the good shepherd Jesus in spirit, soul, and body.

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© 2023 Hans-Peter Nann