June 26, 2020 – Friday
Psalm 23:3b NIV
3b He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3b TLV
3b He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3b TPT
3b He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in His footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to His name.
Sometimes instead of looking at commentary you can look at various translations of a verse and gain great insight into the verse. I looked first at this verse on guidance New International Version (NIV), but unsatisfied went to look at other versions here at BibleGateway.com. From all those that were available I first chose the Tree of Life Version (TLV) as I appreciated the mild amplification of right paths to paths of righteousness. Then I saw The Passion Translation (TPT) which at first seemed simply too wordy. But as I read it, it seemed to be an even greater amplification of the NIV than the TLV.
So I went to the TPT webpage to see what it is all about and why it is longer in verbiage. There I found out The purpose of the Passion Translation is to reintroduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader. It doesn’t merely convey the literal meaning of words. It expresses God’s passion for people and his world by translating the original, life-changing message of God’s Word for modern readers. All laudable, but from my perspective (opinion) requiring caution from the reader as I wonder if I am reading God’s passion or that of the translator. Using your own discernment is always a good idea, no matter what translation or version you are using.
Having said all that, in my opinion TPT did a fine job of communicating God’s passion or pleasure in this case of guiding David along the paths of righteousness. And in reading the 23rd Psalm it is obvious it is not meant for David alone, but for anyone who would want to follow God and honor Him by walking in paths of righteousness.
To appreciate the guidance of 3b above even more, let’s look at 3a where David writes He refreshes my soul (NIV), He restores my soul (TLV), and That’s where He restores and revives my life (TPT). All clearly show God’s warmth and gentleness concerning our soul and life before He reaches down to guide us on paths of righteousness. What a wonderful God, of course the more we know Him, the more we would want to honor His name by walking on the paths of righteousness He has guided us onto.
Because we are walking on paths guided by Him, it is no surprise we can as verse 4 says 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 comfort me. The valley of the shadow of death, whatever that is in our lives, we do not have to fear because He is with us. It might be a great illness, a personal disaster, a great upheaval in our personal life, but no matter what it is we can face it without fear because He is with us. His rod and staff – and these words – comfort us.
In conclusion we should always be seeking God’s guidance so that we might walk in and on His paths of righteousness honoring Him and our Savior, Jesus Christ. With His guidance and His restoration of our souls we can go through many trials and tribulations (valley of the shadow of death) without fear the evil around us.
Thoughts to think on as the weekend approaches and we prepare ourselves for church as well. I do hope you are going to church this weekend as always for corporate praise, worship, song, and to hear the word of God preached.