The Divine Climb

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The Divine Climb - A forum on Jewish thought.

Usher Smith

King David saw his relationship with G-d as a shepherd to his sheep. David was able to develop a meaningful trust in G-d, because he was aware of G-dís care and sensitivity for him. David realized that, just like the shepherd, G-d felt what he felt, wanted what was best for him, and was personally involved with him. Thus, because "G-d is my shepherd - I shall lack nothing."

However, David was aware, that G-d wanted what was ultimately best for him, and just like a straying sheep, the person is sometimes unaware of what is best for himself. David knew that his spiritual development was ultimately his greatest achievement, and anything that G-d bestowed upon him incorporated this philosophy. Whether good or bad, it was to bring out the best in him. Now, the shepherd generally carries with him a staff to guide his flock, and a rod which he uses, when necessary, to hit the sheep which are in danger of straying into dangerous territories. David compared the adversities which came upon him - being chased by Saul, in particular - to the rod, which brought him to a greater level of spirituality. Although a complete picture was not clear to him at the time, he knew that this was solely beneficial to him. Thus, he proclaimed, "Your rod and Your staff are a comfort to me". With the proper outlook, even the adversities which befell him were comforting.

Finally, David was brought forth from his misfortunes, and was coronated as king. Indeed, David showed gratitude towards G-d for his kingship, as he said " anointed my head with oil...", referring to his anointment as king. However, as we explained in the last segment, he still acknowledged his desire to remain in solitude with Him, as he did in the past. Although kingship brought him much wealth and glory, he still wished to retain his personal relationship with G-d, as he did during his days as a shepherd. Thus, he concludes, "Although only good and kindness pursue me all the rest of my days..." nevertheless, "I shall dwell in the House of G-d for long days".


Usher Smith has studied at Yeshiva Shaarei Torah (Monsey NY), Talmudical Academy Of Central NJ (Adelphia NJ), and Beth Medrash Govoha (Jerusalem Israel and Lakwood NJ)

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