December 1, 2013
Faith Without Works Is Dead
December 3, 2013
December 1, 2013
Faith Without Works Is Dead
December 3, 2013

Psalm 23 – Part 9

sheep following shepherd 2

Psalm 23, Part 9
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,
and I shall
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:1-6, ESV

We see another picture of God’s love, care, provision, and rest for us in our in the second part of verse 5 today. You may think it’s a strange picture of the shepherd pouring oil on the sheep’s head, but if you don’t understand the significance and need for the oil, then you miss a very important point.  

Because sheep are often subjected to viruses, parasites, or infection, as a preventive measure a good shepherd will anoint or apply oil to the head of the sheep. The oil flows down the sheep’s head to its eyes, nose, ears, and mouth, all vulnerable areas. It soothes and heals. The shepherd will also use the oil as a lubricant for prods and cuts the sheep inflict on each other.

The sheep cannot get rid of viruses or sickness on their own. They need the help of the shepherd; and a good shepherd provides healing. When the shepherd does, the sheep easily rest in his provision and experience wholeness, restoration.

In Isaiah 61 we see that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, bring deliverance to the captives, and sight to those who were blind, provide liberty and deliverance to those held captive or oppressed (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18-21; Acts 10:38).

Because of Jesus’ finished work at the Cross, He is your healer today. He wants you to walk in health and wholeness, nothing broken, nothing missing. The Psalmist understood the power of healing and wholeness through anointing the sheep. The sheep rested in the shepherd’s care and healing because the shepherd’s cup did not stop; it continued to overflow.

That’s the place of rest for you as a believer. God’s provision continues today, and  His cup continues to overflow. You need only receive as He pours His healing and grace over you, and you do that by faith.