Daily Bible Reading Reflections

Choose Your Shepherd Carefully

Today’s Bible reading is Psalm 49, a psalm of the sons of Korah.

We’re much more familiar with Psalm 23–“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want”–than Psalm 49. Psalm 49 is an honest look at “the path of those who have foolish confidence” (49:13), men and women who are treading paths of “iniquity” (49:5). They trust “in their wealth” (49:6), calling “lands by their own names” (49:11). They are people of “pomp” (49:12). While they live, they count themselves “blessed” (49:18). But here’s the terrifying part: “death shall be their shepherd” (49:14).

What a stark contrast, a night-and-day difference laid before us as a fork in the road: the Path of Psalm 23 vs. the Path of Psalm 49.

The Path of Psalm 23: “The LORD is my shepherd”

  • 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
  • My shepherd is with me
  • His rod and his staff, they comfort me

In the other direction, the Path of Psalm 49

  • I have confidence in myself
  • I’m paving my own path
  • I trust in my stuff
  • I’m successful in the eyes of my peers
  • I’m surrounded by pomp wherever I go
  • I count myself blessed because of my accomplishments
  • People know my name
  • …but death shall be my shepherd

Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish. (Psa 49:20)

May we humbly take into account where these diverging paths eventually end and choose our shepherd carefully.

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