Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Psalms Chapter 23
Metaphysically Interpreting Psalms 23:1-6
23:1Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want.
23:2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside still waters.
23:3He restoreth my soul:
He guideth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
23:5Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
23:6Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah
November 15, 1903: Psalms 23 - all
This psalm is an all-round mental treatment. Thousands get consolation from it who never heard of the science of mind, but the understanding of the symbology gives added power.
Our thoughts are our sheep. To take care of them personally is a Herculean task - to put them into the hands of the great I AM, Jehovah, unburdens the mind.
The realization that the Lord is the provider of all is wonderfully peace-giving. “I shall not want” is a direct denial of the thought of lack, which burdens so many ignorant minds and keeps them in hell.
Green is symbolical of the newness and freshness which Spirit constantly gives the soul, and the pastures the abundance of the supply. The still waters are peaceful states of thought in meditation. Some people can not meditate because of the turbulent thoughts that flow into their minds. They need this affirmation, “He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
The restoring of the soul is the strengthening of the subjective thought realm to Divine harmony, and the paths of righteousness are the open doors of communication between the various planes of thought. This affirmation of Divine guidance is a mighty factor in thought unification, and we cannot make it too often.
The valley of the shadow of death is that vague darkness which envelopes the mind when the thought of death presents itself. A denial of it as evil is the open door to a fuller understanding that under all circumstances the Lord is present. The rod means power and the staff defense. The shepherd’s rod is a crook used for helping sheep out of crevasses and other pitfalls. The staff is not a cane, but a heavy bludgeon with which the shepherd slays the wild animals that attack the sheep. Comfort means more than consolation - it means to strengthen, to invigorate, to encourage.
The table prepared by the Lord is the omnipresent substance which is always with us, in spite of opposing ideas. The oil that anoints our head is the joy that is poured out into the understanding when we realize the abundance of God’s love.
Assured of the presence and power of our Supreme Father, we know that this eternal goodness shall always be with us. It will not be a great enthusiasm to be followed by apathy, but a continual bubbling up in the soul of a consciousness of God’s mercy and love.
The final affirmation of abiding in the house or protection of the Lord is the “Amen” - the so let it be of spirit.
July 5, 1911: Psalm 23
Mrs. McClintock had charge of the services on Wednesday, June 28th.
Mrs. Sloan gave an orchestrelle voluntary, after which the audience sang from Truth in Song, “Waiting on the Lord.” For silent meditation Mrs. McClintock gave the affirmation, “I wait upon the Lord; my strength is renewed.” Following this prayer, the audience sang “He Leadeth Me,” then again went into the silence with the thought, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”
Mrs. McClintock took for her theme, 23rd Psalm, saying:
“We get so hustled, worried, and flurried in our contact with the outside world that we find it hard to get still. This psalm is a beautiful picture teaching of the good Shepherd’s care for us. How many things do we lack when we realize that the Lord is our shepherd? It gives us a sense of protection to know that we can lack no good because we are in the care of the Shepherd of our souls.”
“We cannot lack rest, for he maketh us to lie down in green pastures of contentment; and we shall not want drink, because the Shepherd goes before and prepares it for us. The restless, turbulent waves of material thought are made still; we are given peace, joy, renewed strength.”
“We shall not want forgiveness. ‘He restoreth my soul.’ Soul means life. When we realize the presence of an indwelling God we have the rest that belongs to his people. To restore means to renew, to recharge. When we are restored there is no dragging, no weariness; no old, material thought affects us. The soul is the battlefield of the consciousness; if it turns its forces to the outer there is failure, disappointment, and lack. If it turns inward to its Shepherd its strength is renewed.”
“We are like little children, seeking. The good Shepherd goes with us to guide us in the right way. It is rest to let him take charge of everything, and when we have given it all over, we never lack knowledge as to the way in which we should go. In all the little things and in all the great things there will be no lack, for the Shepherd provides for his flock.”
“We shall not want companionship. ‘Thou art with me.’ The valley that the Psalmist speaks of is the dark places in consciousness - the subconscious depths through which we are sometimes called to pass. We fear these places, but the Shepherd goes before and makes them safe for us. We need his constant care to keep us from stumbling, from running off into beliefs of materiality. We are always protected. There is a place within where we can retire when we feel lonely or when we have too much company; that place is where the Most High dwells.”
“‘I will fear no evil.’ If we meet the approach of evil with the fearless knowledge of the Shepherd’s protection it cannot touch us. We can always receive comfort from the truth that we ‘cannot drift beyond His love and care.’ Every morning we are to get still and realize that we put ourselves and our affairs into the Infinite keeping; then, although we may forget, he will not.”
“The Shepherd of our souls rescues us from forbidden, fatal places. We cannot be lost - God cannot lose himself.”
“We shall not want food, for the table of the Lord is spread before us. We have come into the consciousness of the care of the infinite Love, and we shall be fed. Oil is a symbol of joy and the anointment of joy is upon us. We shall not want anything in this life; and as there is no cessation of life, we shall not want anything now or ever.”
“This body is the house of the Lord. If I realize that it is the living temple of the living God, I shall certainly live in it forever - not the body of limitation, but the renewed, unlimited, glorified body which is truly the house of the Lord.”
The usual healing service followed the address; it was conducted by Mrs. Fillmore. The offering was blessed withe the word, “Because this was given in love it is blessed to the giver, blessed to the receiver, blessed to the cause.”
The meeting closed with the song, “I Will Not Forget Thee.”
June 20, 1920: Psalms 23
Define the words, “Jehovah is my shepherd.” This simple affirmation, spoken by the little shepherd boy David, contains a spiritual significance that cannot be compassed by words. David (Love) recognizes that Jehovah, Creator of all that is, and in whose invisible Hand rests the whole universe that ever moves in perfect rhythm and order, is his, David’s, loving, faithful Shepherd also.
Give the meaning of “I shall not want.” These words bring out the utter impossibility of want when under the care and protection of the Divine Shepherd. When our hearts beat in unison with the Great Heart, we come into that clear, comprehensive understanding in which the Master lived, when he said, “All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine.”
Explain, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still waters.” From Truth’s viewpoint, this signifies spiritual satisfaction. Desires which spring from the inner heart, like sheep, though they may be weary in their search, will go on, and on, and on, seeking that which satisfies their inner cravings. But when the fulfillment of the desire is accomplished, there follows a season of relaxation, a season of rest in green pastures and beside sill waters.
What is the spiritual significance of, “He restoreth my soul: He guideth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake?” Through the soul’s appropriating and assimilating the living bread (substance), a redeeming, directive power is set into action in consciousness, which restores both soul and body and leads into the paths of illumination and righteousness.
Explain, “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shad of death, I will fear no evil.” On the journey from the mortal to the spiritual consciousness, it is sometimes necessary to pass through what seems shadowy, dangerous experiences. However all one has to do is to know that the Hand of the Father is leading him, and that where God is there is always safety.
What are some of the blessings which come to those who follow the Good Shepherd? The table of abundance is always spread. The oil of love is constantly poured out in blessings. The cup of living water is full to overflowing. Goodness and mercy are omnipresent. The redeemed soul lives in the “house of Jehovah”, the glorified body, “forever.”
September 25, 1938: Psalms 23
Why did David see Jehovah as the Great Shepherd? David himself was a shepherd, and he saw Jehovah as his guide, protector, and defender, enabling him to develop and express all his divine qualities.
How do metaphysicians think of Jehovah? As the indwelling life principle that animates each individual and enables him to do his appointed work perfectly.
What is God to the thinker? To the thinker God is mind. Through his mind man receives and gives expression to the ideas in Divine Mind.
What is man’s work? Man’s work is to realize the presence of the Great Worker within himself and to express himself as a son of God.
How is fear blotted out? Man rids himself of fear by realizing the divine power within him and knowing that when he appropriates and uses it in faith it is sufficient for every emergency that may confront him.
What are “mine enemies”? Apparent obstacles and trying circumstances are the enemies that give man food for reflection and increase in him the substance of faith.
What is it to “dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever”? This is to realize the consciousness of spiritual strength and power that comes to those who keep the divine law.
August 18, 1940: Psalms 23
Why is the “Shepherd Psalm” so widely known and loved? The thought of Jehovah’s caring for man gives him a feeling of trust and confidence, imbues him with courage, adds meaning to his life, and call forth his devotion. Man is unable to live successfully without help from a higher source.
What aspect of the Deity does the figure of the shepherd represent? The aspect of divine love.
How is man’s safety and well-being best promoted? By his yielding himself in full faith and confidence to the guidance of divine love man insures his safety and well-being.
What do green pastures and still waters represent? They represent peace, security, and contentment as well as abundant substance or food for both soul and body.
What most surely restores the soul? A consciousness of being right or a feeling of being in harmony with the universal life. Reliance on divine guidance enables man to enter into God consciousness.
When we accept divine guidance, do we surrender our initiative? On the contrary we still our thoughts to receive new and original impressions that help us take the initiative in a way that we could not do in our unaided personal capacity.
How is the fear of death overcome? Divine love is stronger than death, and when man knows God as love in his own heart he overcomes this fear along with all others.
What is the one eternal reality? Life. It subsists even in the presence of death, as Jesus Christ proved when He raised Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain from the dead.
What does a table prepared in the presence of one’s enemies represent? One’s enemies at table are within oneself in the form of natural appetites, self-will, and lack of self-discipline.
September 25, 1949: Psalms 23
Why is the 23rd Psalm the best known and best loved of all the Psalms? Partly because it breathes confidence and trust, inducing a sense of safety, contentment, and the assurance of divine love and watchful care. Partly because of its rhythmic quality and the liquid melody of its verses, as well as because it expresses the aspirations common to all mankind.
Is faith an outstanding element in this psalm? Though it is not mentioned, faith is the outstanding faculty in evidence in every verse of this psalm. Faith in God is taken for granted in it. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil’ for thug art with me.”
Why is the line, “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me, “ so meaningful to us? Because both the rod and the staff are symbolic of God’s constant care for us.
Does faith give us a lively appreciation of blessings received? It does, as in the words “My cup runneth over.” The Infinite is at our service. We could ask no more.
Transcribed by Tracie Louise on 11-06-2013