The Lord is My Shepherd Psalm 23 Introduction • One of the best known Psalms • Life of a sheep with a shepherd compared to life of a believer with God “The Lord is my shepherd” • That makes us sheep, not ‘junior shepherds’ • The shepherd’s duties are explained in the rest of the psalm • But the sheep’s ‘duty’ is to follow the shepherd – Before that happens, the sheep have to know their shepherd • Sheep recognize the voice (authority) of the shepherd – There is no room for divided loyalties “I shall not want” • A declaration of complete trust – The sheep has complete confidence in the shepherd – The sheep won’t be second guessing the shepherd as to what is best – The shepherd is responsible for the needs of the sheep • It’s a huge responsibility, but our Lord is up to the task – We will have no spiritual needs unmet “He makes me to lie down in green pastures” • Sheep can’t find pasturage on their own • Sheep won’t change pasturage on their own – Sheep can starve to death within a short distance from a green field • But we know our shepherd will always take us to the best fields – We will have all the spiritual food needed for a lifetime He leads me beside the still waters • Sheep don’t swim – Sheep can’t right themselves if turned over in water – Sheep prefer safe, calm waters • Our Lord won’t let us get in over our heads – If we follow Him, He’ll guide us in the ways that are best for us “He restores my soul” • The shepherd won’t let one of his sheep disappear – If lost, he’ll find us – If taken, he’ll come after us • God won’t let His children just disappear – He wants all to be saved – He sent His Son to give us a way back “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” • The shepherd knows which paths are best – If he chooses the wrong path, it would be a mark against him personally – The shepherd leads … in front • God knows which way we should go in life – If He led us wrong, it would be a mark against His holiness – We can safely follow His lead without worry about going wrong “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” • Sheep follow their shepherd anywhere • We can trust the Lord – Even when danger is all around – Even when death seems imminent – Why? • The rest of the verse “For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” • The shepherd – complete faith and trust in the one who guides • Rod – a weapon, about 3’ long – Used to fight off wild animals • Staff – about 8’ – 10’ long – Used to test waters, guide sheep around dangerous areas, etc – Crook used to lift fallen sheep from crevices, etc “For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” • If we face dangers from outside – God is there to protect us • If we stumble and fall – God is there to lift us up • Our shepherd is with us, there is nothing to fear • His strength and compassion both should give us comfort You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies • Sheep don’t know to avoid poisonous plants, brambles, etc – The shepherd has to go first and “prepare the table” • We don’t always know what is right for us – If we follow our Lord, we know there won’t be danger • Danger comes when we “go it alone” “You anoint my head with oil” • Shepherd would pour oil on each sheep’s head – Oil acts as antiseptic for cuts, scrapes – Oil cools head, preventing sunstroke • Our Lord cares about even our minor struggles – He provides the healing “My cup runs over” • Before enclosing the sheep for the night – Shepherd will give each sheep a full cup of water • When we are weary, He revives us – His care for us is unceasing Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever • Why would a sheep ever want to leave such wonderful care? – They wouldn’t • Why would we ever want to leave such a wonderful and caring Lord? – Perhaps we aren’t as smart as sheep Conclusion • We have a wonderful Shepherd – He wants what is best for you – He has provided a way to save you – He will always care for you • Won’t you come to Him?
Pages to are hidden for
"The Lord is My Shepherd - PowerPoint"Please download to view full document