Psalm 23 is the fearful picture of the Shepherd Warrior/King. It is fearful only for those outside covenant with God, but it is pure comfort for those in covenant with Yahweh. For some of us who have never been in the battlefield, worship is the closest to battle we will ever be. The great writer Alexander Schmemann argued that our worship is for the sake of the world. Somehow—mysteriously—our voices in the heavenlies push away the darkness of evil.
Satan was the prince of the air, but Christ’s ascension to the right hand of the Father means that there is a new King on the throne. Satan’s dark forces are being pushed more and more away from this world, until ultimately he is driven to the Lake of Fire where he will make his residence for all eternity.
This is why Psalm 23 is such a powerful picture for us. The King could come unarmed to battle, but He chooses the weapon of a rod and staff to frighten the enemy. But what frightens the enemy is the comfort of the friend.
When we worship, we are being led by our Great Warrior/Shepherd. We may seem small and the enemy may seem tall, but if our worship amount to only one stone, then that is what God will use to crush the enemy’s head. Thanks be to God!