The LORD, My Shepherd, Rules My Life

Full Text

1 The LORD, my shepherd, rules my life
and gives me all I need;
he leads me by refreshing streams;
in pastures green I feed.

2 The LORD revives my failing strength,
he makes my joy complete;
and in right paths, for his name's sake,
he guides my faltering feet.

3 Though in a valley dark as death,
no evil makes me fear;
your shepherd's staff protects my way,
for you are with me there.

4 While all my enemies look on,
you spread a royal feast;
you fill my cup, anoint my head,
and treat me as your guest.

5 Your goodness and your gracious love
pursue me all my days;
your house, O LORD, shall be my home
your name, my endless praise.

Versifier: Christopher M. Idle

Christopher Idle. Born at Bromley, Kent. 11 September 1938. Educated at Eltham College, after which he worked in an office, a shop and a hospital. Studied English at Saint Peter's College, Oxford (BA 1962) and Theology at Clifton Theological College, Bristol. Married Marjorie Rycroft, who was then nursing, in 1963; they have four married sons and (to date) seven grandchildren. Ordained 1965, serving Church of England parishes at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria; Peckham, South East London; Poplar and Limehouse, East London; and North Hartismere, Suffolk, which comprised seven villages. He and Marjorie returned to Peckham in 1995; from then until 2003 he worked with local schools and churches (Anglican and Baptist), as well as writing and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The LORD my shepherd rules my life
Title: The LORD, My Shepherd, Rules My Life
Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1977)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission


A profession of joyful trust in the LORD as the good Shepherd-King.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = v. 3
st. 3 = v. 4
st. 4 = v. 5
st. 5 = v. 6

Psalm 23's tranquil confession of faith and hope builds on the common ancient Near East and Old Testament metaphor of the king as shepherd of his people. God is the true Shepherd-King, providing his people their every need (st. 1-2), protecting them against every danger (st. 3), and welcoming them to a banquet of bounty and fellowship at the LORD's royal table in the face of their enemies (st. 4). The people thus have the sure hope of God's unfailing care and of ready access to God's presence (st. 5). Jesus' use of the shepherd image (John 10) has further endeared this psalm to Christians everywhere.

The 1977 versification by Christopher M. Idle (PHH 20) was first published in Jesus Praise (1982). He wrote it, he said, "to provide a version of the twenty-third Psalm in familiar meter which would avoid the archaisms and inversions of the established sixteenth-century version from the Scottish Psalter" (161). Other settings of Psalm 23 include 161, 162, and 550.

Liturgical Use:
As an expression of trust, Psalm 23 is appropriate for many liturgical uses, including baptism, the Lord's Supper, weddings, and funeral services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook





BROTHER JAMES' AIR was composed by James Leith Macbeth Bain (b. Scotland, c. 1840; d. Liverpool, England, 1925), the healer, mystic, and poet known simply as Brother James. The tune was first published in his volume The great peace: being a New Year's greeting ... (1915). Born in a devout Christian…

Go to tune page >



General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

Questions? Check out the FAQ
This is a preview of your FlexScore.
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #23
  • Full Score (XML)


Instances (1 - 9 of 9)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Catholic Book of Worship III #489
Church Family Worship #137
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #45a
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #45b
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #732TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #23BTextAudioPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #23Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Songs for Life #201Text
Worship Together #601