The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-6, KJV)
Back in the day when orators were highly esteemed, a banquet was held for such a man. Following the banquet, he was asked to recite something for the pleasure of the guests. He agreed to do so and asked if anyone in the audience had a specific request. An elderly preacher spoke up and said, “Sir, could you recite the 23rd Psalm?” After a moment’s pause, the orator said, “I can and I will, but afterward I want you to do the same.” The preacher was surprised by the offer but agreed to it.
Then the orator began his recitation. As he worked his way through the majestic lines of the beautiful Psalm, he held the audience spellbound. In fact, the listeners were so enthralled by his recitation that he barely got the last word of the Psalm spoken before they burst into a great round of applause.
When the applause finally died down, the old preacher arose and began his turn. His style was vastly different from the orator’s, much more simple and humble, but there was a strange, undeniable power to his words. When he finished, no applause broke from the audience. Instead, there was a holy silence, marked only by some tears that streamed down some faces.
At that point, the orator walked over to the old preacher, put his hand on his shoulder, and summed up the scene perfectly. He said, “My friends, I reached your eyes and ears, but this man reached your hearts. I know the 23rd Psalm, but this man knows the Shepherd.”