I’m currently trudging my way through Luther’s Works Volume 12 “Selections from the Psalms.” Because of this, I want to share with you; verse by verse; some of Luther’s insights from Psalm 23 over the coming weeks.
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
“In this single word “shepherd” there are gathered together in one almost all the good and comforting things that we praise in God.”
“The voice of this shepherd… with which he speaks to his sheep and calls them, is the Holy Gospel… The pasture with which Christ feeds his sheep is also the dear Gospel, by which our souls are fed and strengthened, preserved from error, comforted in all temptations and sorrows, protected against the devils wile and power, and finally saved from all need.”
“But his sheep are not all equally strong; in part they are still lost, scattered hither and yon, wounded, sick, young, and weak. He [Christ] does not reject them for that reason but actually gives more attention to them and also cares for them more diligently than he does for the others who have no faults.”
“Christ alone is active here… He seeks, carries, and directs you. He earns life for you through his death. He alone is strong and keeps you from perishing, from being snatched out of his hand (John 10:28). And for all of this you can do nothing at all but only lend your ears, hear, and with thanksgiving receive the inexpressible treasure, and learn to know well the voice of your Shepherd, follow him, and avoid the voice of the stranger.”
“This alone is the golden art: to cling to God’s Word and promise, to make judgement on the basis of this Word and not on the basis of the feelings of the heart. Then help and comfort will surely follow, and absolutely nothing will be wanting.”