Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Application: Principles Exercise for Psalm 23

The Big Idea: How we can apply the Bible by looking for principles in Psalm 23.

Finding the Principles

Foundational truths that guide our faith leading us to be more like Jesus are valuable principles found throughout the Bible. Last week we looked at steps to find those principles. Let’s put it to the test in Psalm 23.

Finding the Biblical Principles in Psalm 23

1. Identify the theme of the passage (the book, the chapter) The book theme: worship

The chapter theme: God cares for us

2. What is it about? What is the subject? What is happening?

The chapter is about God and how He acts toward us as individuals and how He cares for His children down to their very needs.

The action taking place is an example of how a shepherd takes care of sheep. It has inspired many painters to create an image of the Good Shepherd.

3. What do you think the author/speaker is trying to show or tell his audience? What is the intent? Why is this included in the Bible?

This is an illustration common to the Old Testament times where shepherds were plentiful and took responsibility for their sheep. He shows us God’s intimate type of care over us. This is in the Bible to illustrate this very personal God interested in our daily life. Many deities and heads of religion have platonic nice sounding ideas but the concept of a personal God who is like a parent, friend or caretaker vested in their charge is a critical difference for the God of the Bible.

4. Is it told or shown in the narrative (story telling)? Is there a cause and effect? Are there contrasts in what should and should not be done? 

This passage is a narrative. It is not specific to a person but we can imagine the author David, who was a shepherd boy for his father’s flocks, knew from personal experience how to care for his sheep.

There is a sense of cause and effect because as the shepherd cares for the sheep they know Him. His care is not only adequate, it is abundant.

5. Is there a natural list of qualities and/or actions? Let’s look at the benefits of Psalm 23. See note.

6. How might it be relevant to the culture of its time? How might it be applicable today?

As shepherds were common in the Old Testament it was recognized as a humble and responsible way of caring for their charge. God is like that.

A modern illustration may be like how people are tender and loving caring for their dog or cat. We see doggie strollers and ice cream cones for dogs. It is people’s delight to be tender and caring toward them.

My husband added that perhaps we can take note from the recent baby formulae shortage. We heard stories how mothers would drive up to a couple hours away in the hopes of finding formulae for their babies.

7. Generalize what is being said. What is the main point? Write the principle in one sentence. State it clearly. 

We should find and grasp the main point in order to go deep! God gives exceptional care to me because He loves me.

8. What is the take-away from the identified principle(s) of your passage? How can you use this knowledge for your life? 

It is such a powerful picture of God’s presence, His comfort and His loving care.

  • God gives me what I need (not necessarily what I want). It overflows.
  • He renews me and refreshes me.
  • He guides me
  • I do not need to be afraid because He is with me. He protects and comforts.
  • His love is for every day of my life now and eternally in the future.


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

Up next: Find the Application: Live the Good Example
Previous post: Find the Application: Principles Followed



1. Read over the take-aways of number 8. Is there at time when you sense His care over you in this way?

2. Sing to yourself the song,”Jesus Loves Me”or listen to it here, reflecting on the truth of it for your life.

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