Balance or Mixture
November 15, 2013
Law Voids Faith
November 17, 2013
Balance or Mixture
November 15, 2013
Law Voids Faith
November 17, 2013

Psalm 23 – Part 1

sheep following shepherd 2

Psalm 23, Part 1
a Psalm of David

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. 
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in 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, for you are with me; your rod
and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
a
nd I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:1-6, ESV

I’m sure you’re familiar with this passage of scripture, the 23rd Psalm. In fact, you probably memorized it as a child, like I did. Recently I had the privilege of teaching Psalm 23 to my grandchildren. Three children under the age of 9 eagerly learned each verse and committed the entire Psalm to memory.

I hope you’ll join me in this study as we dig into each verse of Psalm 23. We’ll see God’s total provision for us as we learn more about His love and the rest we have as believers already available and provided through His grace.  Let’s get started.

In today’s world, especially in more metropolitan areas, we really don’t see shepherds with their sheep. Actually I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a modern-day shepherd in my travels across the United States. Because we live in this modern age, we miss the fullness of what a shepherd is, what he does, and how sheep are.

Jesus called His true followers “sheep” (John 10:4). All sheep need a shepherd. They cannot manage on their own, by themselves (Isaiah 53:6). They need direction and guidance, protection and provision. What a wonderful picture that gives us of Jesus our Shepherd.

The shepherd’s focus and job is making sure the sheep are well cared for. In His care they do not lack anything. They have all that they need. The shepherd leads the sheep to pastures where they are feed, full and satisfied. All their needs are met. They find rest and security in His presence because he loves them and keeps them from harm. And, if for some reason they wander away, the shepherd finds them and lovingly brings them back into his presence where they are safe. He does them good, not harm (John 10:14). Isn’t that also a picture of Jesus? He is the good shepherd.

David was a shepherd. He took care of his father’s flock of sheep. He understood the role of shepherd, and he understood sheep. Throughout each day of shepherding he meditated on God’s goodness and provision. He saw God as His Shepherd, His provider, His protector, His rest. He continued seeing and experiencing God’s faithfulness in his life. His declaration is so strong that it still reverberates in our hearts today:

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

I trust that Jesus is your Shepherd because you’ll never be in better hands. The Amplified Bible says it this way: “The Lord is my shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.”

Take some time today to meditate on God’s goodness in your life and all that He has done for you through the finished work of Jesus.

We’ll build on this further in our next study.