Saturday, September 13, 2008

Psalm 23

I've sometimes found it helpful to write what I think a passage does not mean so that I can better understand what it does mean. One night at youth group a few years back, I had my youth do just that. Today as I returned to the Bible I had used that day, I found my own version. First is my version of Psalm 23 that goes contrary to the message I believe the psalmist meant. The second is my paraphrased version of the psalm.

The Lord does not guide me
I am continuously in need
I walk alone through the desert
parched and depleted
I am lost without a cause
I am desperate and scared and have nowhere to turn
You have left me.
You offer no consolation.
Nothing of you is familiar.
You mock me and reject me.
You jest with my foes
You abuse me and betray me
I have nothing to give
I only see despair and desolation in my path
I stand outside your welcome forever.

The Lord is my shepherd, my guide, my keeper
He takes care of all my needs
He provides riches and plenty for me
so that I may relax and rest.
the Lord guides me by still waters--making sure I am cool and have plenty to drink.
He replenishes my soul, he makes me whole.
He guides my path, so that I might do good to others
and glorify him, showing others God's greatness
Even when life is at its worst--without hope, dark and alone--
I will not fear because God is there
The Lord holds my hand and comforts me.
the signs of God's presence--
grace, joy, forgiveness, and justice--give me peace.
You show your greatness by making me great,
you do not let my enemies push me down
You bless me and I have more than I could need.
With you by my side,
I know good things are still to come
and that I will be with you forever.

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