Monday, November 19, 2012

An Essay on Psalm 23

The Good Shepherd by Henry Ossawa Tanner

I had a small epiphany during the afternoon worship service today. We were singing a hymn based on Psalm 23: arguably the most well-known Psalm by David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Question: What was the single biggest factor in shaping David into who he is?
This question, not a "What makes XX great?" but a "Given XX is a great person, what were the factors that contributed to it?" has been on the back of my mind for some time, perhaps because of my recent viewing of the great Spielberg film Lincoln. I've always admired Abraham Lincoln (I am going to go on record here to say that for a long time I've been lobbying my wife to name one of our future sons Lincoln), and I've been reading his Wikipedia entry with a renewed interest. What I found myself most curious about was his "Early Life" section. What kind of upbringing did he have? Was there a special event early on in his childhood that shaped his outlook in life? Now, I know that there is no simple answer to this kind of questions, and it might even be foolish to be seeking one, but at the same time I think it is altogether natural for us to think in this way. What makes us great?