Posted by: missionventureministries | March 17, 2014

THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD – Psalm 23

Psalm 23

The 23rd Psalm portraits a beautiful picture of Christ as the Shepherd. This chapter finds its New Testament exposition in John 10:1–30, where Christ identifies Himself as “the good shepherd” who “gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

  • Verse 1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. What an amazing relationship!

“The Lord is my shepherd.” Here David uses the term shepherd for the Lord. Like a shepherd cares for His sheep so the Lord cares for those who are His. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd.

“I shall not want.” When we truly make the Lord our Shepherd we understand and know that He is able to supply all our needs, and He is certainly willing to do so, for His heart is full of love.  Therefore “I shall not want,” because the believer has everything in Him! “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)

  • Verse 2. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Here we see that God seeks to comfort His people when they are exhausted and gives them rest.

When by faith we find rest in His promises, we are like the sheep that lie down in the midst of the pasture; therefore, we find provisions, peace, rest, serenity and satisfaction in Him. “He leads me beside the still waters.” What are these “still waters”? It is the influences and graces of His blessed Spirit. For the Holy Spirit loves peace. Our Lord leads us beside these “still waters;” because we cannot go there by ourselves, we need His guidance and like a shepherd He walks beside us and guides us.

The shepherd’s responsibilities are to protect and provide for the needs of his sheep; the responsibility of each of the sheep is to follow and obey the shepherd.

  • Verse 3. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. God provides security and guidance for His people in very difficult and dangerous times and He heals and restores us.

He restores my soul.”  When we grow weary and lack courage with the troubles of life, He restores and refreshes us. He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” We like sheep are not always aware of where we are going, so the Good Shepherd leads us in the paths and His path leads to His righteousness. Not only for our sake, but for His glory and for His name’s sake, because one of the chief purposes of mankind is to glorify God for His name’s sake

  • Verse 4. Yea, 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. Through testing and faith, God shows us how to find security and protection in Him during difficult times.

The Lord guides us through dark valleys of distress and trouble just as through green pastures. His presence is with us, through dark valleys where we find ourselves in death’s shadow and helps us to overcome our fear. On these occasions the Shepherd serves as our personal guide. David also acknowledged the console and protection of God. The shepherd’s rod was used against animals that threatened the welfare of the sheep. The staff was used to gently guide the sheep along the right path. These tools represent protection and provision.

  • Verse 5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. God graciously provides for our needs in abundance. He protects us, gives us hope and consecrates us.

The Lord’s people feast at His table, while Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, as they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full.

  • Verse 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me.  All the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. God sees His relationship with us as one of an intimate friend, living together in His house, as part of His family; blessing us and keeping us safe for all eternity.

With a sense of assuredness, David understood that mercy which blots out sins and goodness which supplies our needs would follow him. Not just while he was king, but all the days of his life, thus he knew that he would dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. This is an Old Testament revelation of what is to come for those who are His.  It is a prophecy that will be fulfilled by Christ at the physical death of all believers. We will dwell in the house of the Lord, which is the Kingdom of God, forever and without end. 

This beautiful Psalm is packed with powerful promises, provisions, and purpose. The Lord is my Shepherd.  What more should I want?

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