home > Pastor’s Desk > 2024 > April 26th > Knowing God Through Psalm 23


My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.

It is God’s desire and plan for all of us to know Him. What does it mean to know someone? When you know someone, you know their characteristics – are they kind? generous? trustworthy? You know what they like and what they don’t like, you know their strengths and you also know their weaknesses.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”
John 10:14-15a

Psalm 23 is one of the many psalms written by King David. It is a beautiful and poetic declaration of the God he had come to know, trust and follow all the days of his life. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. Psalm 23 is one of my favourite. Like me, you may have read these verses many times and know it by heart. This Psalm was put to music and I love singing it, too. This short Psalm encourages you, reminds you, strengthens you;

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake .
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:1-6

David had been a shepherd-boy. When Samuel the priest came to anoint David, he finds him still in the fields tending sheep. David knew his flock. He knew their needs, he led them to pastures to graze and streams to drink. He knew them so he could tell if one had wandered off. If so, he would search until it was found. He would rescue his sheep and protect them. If any were injured he would take care of them. In 1 Samuel 17:34 David tells how he had rescued lambs from the mouths of bears and lions. The sheep knew the shepherd. They knew his voice and followed him. They knew he cared.

David describes the Lord as his Shepherd. David is declaring that, like his sheep, the Lord is the one he followed and looked to, the one who abundantly provided what he needed.

The Lord is the one who had restored his soul (vs 3a). Like all of us he had failed in his life. One of his failings recorded in the Bible was when he committed adultery. He tried to cover this sin by sinning further. He organised her husband to be killed on the battle field. He had sinned greatly and broken the law of God. The Lord called him to account…

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”
2 Samuel 12:13

David had been led in paths of righteousness (vs3b). He had been given the the immense honour of being King over the Lord’s people. He had known the comfort and protection of God in many life threatening situations. He’d known the mercy and goodness (vs6) of God and he had found his home in the house of God (vs6) in this life and for eternity .

Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd and gives us an even greater description of Himself.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is the hired hand and not a shepherd… he sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd”…
John 10:11-14

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life , and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:27-28

Our Jesus is the best shepherd ever. He laid down his own life for us, his sheep, to pay the penalty for our sin. The perfect God giving his life for us his sinful sheep so we can be forgiven and have relationship with Him.

We are His, He loves us, cares for us, knows us and our needs and he wants us to follow, trust and look to Him. He promises that we will hear and know his voice. He promises that we are safe in his hands. Jesus says, ‘Come, follow me!’







Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Richard Brunning

    Well done Amanda a prime example of Gods love for us, his forgiveness,&

    guidence is shown in Davids Psalms.

    • Amanda Darby

      Thanks Richard

  2. Richard Brunning

    Well deone Amanda. David sure lells us what a woderfull God we can come to know.


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This year we have been laying a foundation for knowing God and then each Sunday building upon it. Throughout June we are focusing on how knowing God enables us to find our joy in Him and consequently to discover that He enables us to find joy in our relationships with others. But sadly, for many people who have vowed to love, serve, and follow Jesus, this has not always been easy to do. This is why the current sub-theme of humility is critically important if someone desires to truly experience joy in each of their various relationships with others. 


In the past few months, we have been hearing in Church and also by reading the Pastor’s Desks that through the Psalms and by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can know God more. The Psalms show God as our Shepherd, God’s character is unchanging, we can be still and know Him, and that He is poetic. The Fruit of the Spirit reminds us that God is faithful, gentle and kind, and that we need to stay close to Him in the same way a baby gets nutrients from its mother through the umbilical cord. Knowing these things, we can become more like God as He helps us outwork His character in our lives. Philippians 3:10 challenged me in this regard some time ago.


What comes to mind when you hear the word Rules? For some, it is a welcome relief to all the chaos surrounding us. Rules can provide comfort, safety, stability, predictability and protection. But for many others, as soon as you hear the word rules, it causes you to sigh loudly, followed by the instant urge to do the opposite. It can cause an immense sense of frustration along with that feeling of being boxed or caged in. Then some rules are plain silly as they make no sense, or there appears to be no apparent reason for why the rule/s exists in the first place. 

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I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.


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