Hymn Meditation

Psalm 23

My shepherd will supply my need,
Jehovah is his name;
In pastures fresh he makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.

He brings my wand’ring spirit back
When I forsake his ways;
And leads me, for his mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.

Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread,
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days:
O may thy house be mine abode,
And all my work be praise!

There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger or a guest,
But like a child at home.

By Isaac Watts
In the Public Domain
Source: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/watts/psalmshymns.Ps.54.html

  • This hymn is based on Psalm 23. How do verse 1 and 2 of the hymn enhance the thoughts inspired by Psalm 23:1-3?
  • Isaac Watts faces his fears emboldened and comforted by God’s presence. The psalmist relied on the shepherd’s rod and staff. What encourages Isaac Watts?
  • Enemies may be individual people, or they may be forces at work in the culture. What enemies besiege you when you are enjoying the fellowship of the Lord?
  • Surveys in contemporary culture reveal that few people consider weekly worship in a building with other worshipers to be a big priority. Compare the view of worship described by Isaac Watts with the psalmist’s description. Compare these views with comments people of your acquaintance make about worship. Why do Christians need to gather with other Christians for worship? How would you explain that need to a secular thinker?