Book Review: The Lord is My Shepherd - Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-Third Psalm by Harold Kushner

The 23rd Psalm has stirred my soul for over 40 years - it was one of my mother's favorites. She instructed me to memorize and meditate on the verses daily. Even though it has been referenced in sermons, Bible Studies, and prayers, I did not grasp the full meaning until reading this little book. Harold Kushner heightened my awareness and faith in God. I think you will gain insight and comfort too.


Kushner dissects the 23rd Psalm verse by verse. Here is his interpretation:


1. The Lord is my Shepherd.

We will not have to face things alone.


2. I shall not want.

What more do I need?


3. He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

God gives us a place of peace/rest - away from anxieties of the world.


4. He leads me beside the still waters.

God is on our side and brings order in the midst of chaos.


5. He restores my soul.

God replenishes us to act human.


6. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

We make Him look good by acting appropriately.


7. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

Even though we experience the highs and lows of life,


8. I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

We don't have to be afraid because God is there too.


9. Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

The rod sustains the fallen.


10. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

Thank you for nourishing me when others could not.


11. Thou anointest my head with oil.

He equips us with the right stuff to do our part to make the world whole.


12. My cup runneth over.

A grateful heart.


13. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

A statement of hope - people will treat us mercifully at every phase of life.


14. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

A sense of purpose - dark days come but don't last forever.


The writer provides a comprehensive commentary along with real life examples. You view this popular scripture in a different light. At length, you develop an attitude of gratitude. The tendency is to focus on needs and wants, losing sight of what has already been given.


The author draws from the Bible, Jewish wisdom, and his life.

Similar to When Bad Things Happen to Good People, the author employs a combination of resources to support his stance. You will note that he preferred the King James version.


The book offers hope.

Everyone benefits from a dose of hope, especially during unusual times. This book will prompt you to redirect your attention.




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