It is not very often that David finishes a psalm without mentioning his enemies. There are exceptions, of course, but not many, and sometimes the references occur in the least expected places. Psalm 23 pictures God as David's loving and wise shepherd. But do you remember verse 5? Verse 5 says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The fact that David mentions his enemies so often gives some idea of how many enemies he had and what his life as the king of Israel was like.

The last three verses of the psalm look to the future and express David's confidence that in time his enemies will be destroyed, the mouths of those who have slandered him will be silenced, and he will again be openly praising God with others who also love and seek him.

Let me suggest another way of looking at this section of the psalm. We can see it as statements, first, of David's satisfaction in God and then of two results flowing from it.

About a thousand years after these words were written, David's greater descendant Jesus Christ said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7). David did not know these specific words, of course. But he did know the reality of them since he elaborates this idea in the next section (vv. 2-8).

There are various ways of outlining the eleven verses of this psalm. They can be found in the various commentaries. The New International Version is probably right on track, however, when it sets verse 1 off as a stanza to itself. This is because the verse expresses the longing of David's soul for God and because the next section (vv. 2-8) describes how that longing has been answered in the past and is being honored in the present.