Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Promise Exercise for Psalm 23

The Big Idea: How to examine the familiar Psalm 23 from the perspective of the promises of God.

Promises In Psalm 23

How can we determine God’s promises keeping true to the Bible? Here is how I have examined Psalm 23.

My 10-step approach to finding the promises in Psalm 23

1. Every time I opened the passage I prayed for God to guide me.

2. I had a notebook and pen/pencil handy.

3. I read the whole chapter a couple of times in a couple of translations.

4. I checked who wrote it. Could I legitimately claim the author wrote it not just for himself but also for the people of God.

5. I listed the attributes and actions of God evident in the verses.

6. I researched if the attributes and actions are in sync with the rest of the Bible citing some references to other passages.

7. I noted the benefits.

8. I looked at conditions and/or circumstances for the recipient.

9. Since this Psalm did not exhibit direct Words of God I wondered what would constitute a promise? The author speaks about God. How does that function as a promise?

10. Lastly I checked other authors online on Promises in Psalm 23.  I worked the passage first. Then I checked for other Christians to verify I was in sync with them. We share the Holy Spirit. This prevents error.

Diane’s Notes

1. Pray.

2. Pencil and paper. 

3. Psalm 23 completely read in NLT, ESV, NIV. 

4. David wrote Psalm 23. He probably initially wrote it for himself, but it was included in the Psalms, a book of worship for believers. I believe he was thinking of building up and teaching others about God when God inspired David to write this. Yes, it can be for me.

5. Going through Psalm 23 I listed attributes and actions. This is a photo of my slip of paper I brought with me to a park using the Bible on my iphone. See how simple it can be?

6. Are these attributes in sync with the rest of the Bible? I list only verses 1-2 for space sake.

  • Shepherd – even Jesus identified Himself as our Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11, John 10. Other places
  • He leads us – Proverbs 15:24, Isaiah 40:11, 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • He provides rest – Joshua multiple times, 1 Chronicles 23:25, Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 4:9
  • He restores – Deuteronomy 30:20, Psalm 51:12, 1 Peter 5;10

7. Benefits to the recipient

Needs fulfilled (v1), rest (v2), quiet (v2), refreshing (v3), lead/direction (v3), no fear (v4), not alone (v4), comfort (v4), provision (v5) abundance (v5), goodness and love (v6), my whole life and forever (v6)

8. Conditions to all this abundance and goodness. Yes. I know God is MY shepherd (v1). I allow God to do all these things for me. One can be invited to eat at a table and refuse to come. God benefits those who want His help and seek Him.

9. How do we understand Bible promises where God is not talking?

Promise – n. a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. Oxford Dictionary

We examine His character and the way He consistently acts. While promises are not negotiable, they may be contingent on our engagement with Him. In Psalm 23, we see declaration after declaration of God’s intent and His ability to help those who seek Him.

10. Online looking for promises of Psalm 23, there are numerous posts that mention Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Some lists are very detailed about who God is to us. The site ties it with Psalm 22 quoted by Jesus at the cross. 

Some of the promises I determined:

  • God provides for my needs; Not my wants, but my needs.
  • God leads me, just like a guide through difficult terrain.
  • God provides rest and restoration in His time.
  • God is with me. I do not need to be fearful, even when I go through difficult circumstances He is with me through them.
  • God is my protector especially as I use His Word (rod and staff)
  • God has my entire life and my eternity in view. It is ultimately for good, not evil. Everything is in His time.
Put on your Promise Filter to find God’s promises for YOU!

Enjoy this worship Psalm based on Psalm 23, I am Not Alone


This post is forty-fifth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Principle Followed
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1. Which of my last list resonates with your need for today?

2. Are you seeking Him? Is He your shepherd always? Do you want Him to restore you? If not, what stands in your way?

3. Consider anything you should tell God right now.

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