City of Light
The 23rd Psalm
The city has no need for the sun or moon to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Yahweh is my shepherd:
The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
I shall lack nothing.
Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there),
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter.
He leads me beside still waters.
There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie,
He restores my soul.
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
City of Light + Psalms
City of Light + Psalms
Shepherd and Light
Like the 10 Commandments, the famous 23rd Psalm has two parts. It begins with the promise, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” which connects to the “Lamb” , who is the lamp of the city in Revelation 21.
Next, the Psalm promises “I shall not want,” or “I shall lack nothing.” The connection here is not as obvious, but suggests something like, “I will not fall short.” Because of Christ, I am allowed into the city.
I believe the place of green pastures of the 23rd Psalm is the Garden of Eden. The gates that are never shut lead to this place.
He “leads” me beside still waters, or waters of rest, matches the entrance to the city. It suggests Christ leads us into the city. Other biblical passages mention us being able to “enter” his rest, or the opposite, to be not allowed to “enter his rest.” The Psalm connection here is less obvious, but it seems to flow.
Nothing profane shall enter the city. This connects to the promise of Christ restoring our soul.
The 23rd Psalm’s name reference that follows is pretty clear. Only those written in Jesus’ book of life can enter the city, where he guides us in the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.
Beneath the Light
The passage then leads to an interesting opposite: the valley of the shadow of death, which I believe lies directly below the City of Light and the River of Life that shines like crystal.
This place of darkness is also where the 23rd Psalm wraps around, and the design begins again. It connects back to the place the parallel began: the city of light whose lamp is the Lamb.
To look at the second half of the Psalm in parallel, click the right arrow or the “pt.2” link.
To explore these passages directly, click this button: