The Meaning and Cycle of Life from Psalm 23

Connecting the verses of Psalms 23 and you shall discover the meaning, journey and ending of life. Read the details to know how to live a full life without regrets.
Psalm 23 is usually read in funeral services and written on tombstones.  In funeral services, we are reminded that the departed is now in heaven with the Lord forever. On the tombstones, due to the limitation of space, only the first half of the verse, "The Lord is my shepherd", is usually written and telling us that the deceased has been a believer.

Expositions on Ps 23 are frequently done in parts. While each verse of Ps 23 is rich in meaning, putting them together and seeing them as a sequence of events in life is even more meaningful. We shall do that in this post.

Connecting the verses show us that Ps 23 provides us the answer for:
  1. What is the meaning of life?
  2. How do we live this life?
  3. Where do we go after this life?
Here is the mind-map of Psalm 23 and showing Life as 3 stages of the beginning, the journey of up-down-up and a ending of eternal blessedness.

1. Meaning of Life - Knowing God as Father thru His Son Jesus
Our life is about knowing God. Not just knowing God as the creator but knowing God as our Father. David considered himself a sheep and see God as his shepherd. 

Jesus came to tell us and show us that God is our Father. God is a personal God that relates, care and love us and not an impersonal God of power and called the Source in many books.  Jesus prayed in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they should know thee(Father v1) the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ (the Son v1)." 

 John said in 1Jn 3:23  And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 

Life begins with Knowing God as a shepherd to his sheep. As a father to a child and as a shepherd to his sheep, the Father loves as show in providing, protecting, caring, developing, guiding and blessing his child. Such loving acts are shown in the journey of life in the next few verses.

2 The Journey of Life - the Smooth, the Valleys and the Celebrations
Life journey begins with God providing a good environment for our development. As we mature, God will lead us to greater challenges, even in times of great difficulties. Such difficult times of persecutions, betrayals, disappointments are but trails to develop our faith and trust in God. We need to know in such times that God is still with us. While we may not be aware, God is keeping the enemies out with His rod and pulling us back from dangers of falling into pits with His staff. Those times are, but shadows, look like and feel like, but not the true death. Death is kept away by God already. Lift up your head and press on, always keep in the path of righteousness and you shall see the breakthrough. There is a pay-back time from the Lord in front of our enemies - those who persecuted, betrayed and scorned at us. The blessing and promotion of our Lord is beyond our expectation --- the anointing oil, the cup overflows.

3. The End is but Beginning in the House of God Eternally
When we come near to the end of our this life journey, we can reflect and know that this is but a life full of God's goodness and blessings - even through the valleys. We are please that we have lived a meaningful and worthy life. We are looking forward to and shall be received by Him into the eternal dwelling with Him and with our friends and family members who have gone before us.

If you want a good ending of life. A life without regrets. Then begin your life with knowing God as your shepherd of life, or more simply, God as your heavenly Father that you can follow His will and calling for you. Start now and live with no regrets.

Update 11 June 24

We can break it into 6 stages of life and they corresponds well with I-Ching #1 Heaven 6 stages too.


Romance in the bible said...

Life is a colorful circle,every time it brings back some colors which we have seen earlier.But we all have to do is make this life meaningful.

Unknown said...

Would like a readable personal copy of image

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! Was looking for some resources to help prepare my Sunday School lesson plan on Psalms 23 and saw this. Explained beautifully. God bless you

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the meaning of Psalm 23.. I understand the meaning now thank you God for being my shepherd