If you missed my last two posts, Does Science Incriminate the Bible? and Why Can’t Science and Faith be Friends?, I suggest you read them first before continuing on to this one. I have been following a loose but developing line of thought throughout them.
This third post picks up at the assumption that science/life is all there is, i.e. there is no supernatural, spiritual, or eternal elements to the world and human experience.
The most basic human condition is inescapable vanity.
This has been a tumultuous year.
The events of December 18, 2010 set off the Arab Spring nearly on the eve of the new year. The distrust, disgust, and dissatisfaction with the current economic, political, and social conditions quickly spread throughout much of the Middle East and North Africa.
Tunisia and Egypt both ousted their long-standing presidents and overthrew the governments (Ben Ali for 24 years and Mubarak for 30 years). Libya erupted in civil war resulting in the fall of its long-standing regime under Gaddafi for 42 years.
Of course Uncle Sam has been reeling with his own financial problems and political dissidence. People are unemployed, foreclosed upon, living with little or no health insurance, and in major debt. They are the 99%.
If John 3:16 is the most famous verse in the New Testament, what some have endearingly called the “end zone gospel”, then the verses of Psalm 23 must be the Old Testament equivalent.
With soldiers, guidance counselors, and everyone dealing with difficult situations of loss or discouragement, this chapter surely has been flipped to.
Enjoying Christ as our Shepherd
Psalm 23 presents Christ as the Shepherd. What could be more comforting? In this Psalm there are 18 personal statements- my Shepherd, I will lack nothing, He makes me lie down, etc.
We will never graduate from our need of Christ’s personal shepherding. Jacob’s life testifies of this- near his end he recognized God as the One who had shepherded him his whole life (Gen. 48:15). Even for eternity the Lamb will shepherd us to springs of water of life (Rev. 7:17).
But eventually our Christian life needs to turn to shepherding others.
Of all the books of the Bible, none other tops the Hot 100 chart more consistently than Psalms.
The Psalms are inspiring, poignant, prophetic, and personal. They span history, prophecy, and theology in one swoop. They reveal both the height of divine majesty and the depth of human depravity. They’re used for prayer, praise, meditation, and devotion.
But what are they all about?