While reading through Psalm 23 this morning, I began thinking about how well David knew the Shepherd. Many things have been written about the shepherd and his sheep. But what struck me this morning was the reality of knowing the Lord. David knew him and described him as someone he knew personally and not someone he had just learned about. Think of the experiences David went through during his early life including his time fighting Goliath, running from Saul, and living with the Philistines. He had experienced the Lord and knew him to be a good Shepherd.
Just last night I had been talking with my youngest son about knowing the Lord. We had just finished another chapter of Hudson Taylor's biography. And in the story, Hudson had just reached Shanghai and did not know anyone there. He was alone in a foreign land unable to speak the language with no friends to help him. It must have been difficult ... but he had the Lord with him.
As you read Psalm 23, do you hear someone talking about a distant person who took care of David's need? You read the psalm and think about David's Shepherd and wonder what it must be like. Or do you hear him talking about someone you already know by experience? You have experienced his goodness to you personally. What a difference that makes when reading this psalm!