The 23rd Psalm: A Study Guide
Questions to reflect on as you read Psalm 23.
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1. Many versions of the Bible translate "I shall not want" as "there is nothing I need" or "I lack nothing," which some readers feel is unrealistic. What are your feelings about this verse? Does it comfort you?
2. When have you turned to this psalm--during times of grief, relationship trouble, or financial distress? Why?
3. What places, people, or situations are "green pastures" or "restful waters" to you? When do you feel God's presence most?
4. We know many people who have struggled through "dark valleys"--times of severe grief. What have you learned from these people about God's nature?
5. In the Hebrew Bible and in Christian rites, anointing with oil is associated with receiving God's spirit. How do you understand the idea of being anointed?
6. The Hebrew word often translated "follow" is actually closer in meaning to the word "pursue": "Goodness and kindness will pursue me." Why would God pursue us? Do you feel this happening in your life?
7. Do you see "dwelling in the house of the Lord" as a heavenly or an earthly state?