My Immanuel Psalm

When the angel of the Lord announced the birth of Jesus to Joseph, he also interpreted this miraculous birth. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:22-23). The angel quotes the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. Jesus was and is “God with us.”

Psalm 23 demonstrates the centrality and importance of “God with us.” A reminder is in order here. “One important form of Hebrew poetry is that a poem often has the critical verse or message in the middle of the poem rather than at the end” (Godfrey, 2017, p. 33). Godfrey (2017) sees that the words “for you are with me” are the center (p. 33). He demonstrates his point by outlining the Psalm as follows:

The LORD is my shepherd,
for you are with me.
I shall not want,
for you are with me.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
for you are with me.
He leads me beside still waters,
for you are with me.
He restores my soul,
for you are with me.
He leads me in paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake,
for you are with me.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me,
for you are with me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
for you are with me.
You anoint my head with oil,
for you are with me.
My cup overflows,
for you are with me.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
for you are with me.
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever,
for you are with me (pp. 33-34).

Of course, Jesus Christ is the shepherd who is with us. Review my earlier post, “The LORD is King.” Jesus testifies, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11); He is Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). And Psalm 23 outlines both His character and vital presence. During the pandemic, weathering unemployment, recovering from surgery, and negotiating the many other hurdles of life, Jesus Christ carries me through. I will fear no evil. Goodness and mercy will follow me. And in the end, I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Why? You are with me, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah!

Denny Prutow

Work Cited: Godfrey, W. R. (2017). Learning to Love the Psalms. Orlando: Reformation Trust.

2021-01-30T09:04:55-05:00 January 25th, 2021|