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Psalm 23 was written by King David during the period when his own son (Absalom) rebelled against him and toppled him from the throne. David fled Jerusalem and his life was in jeopardy and he was hunted and hounded for a number of months. (2 Sam 15)
David begins: Verse 1 - "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want"
David is saying, because the Lord is my shepherd, I do not lack anything. He was satisfied with the Lord even though he was on the run for his life, being pursued by his son Absalom. I wonder could we be satisfied, in similar circumstances?
A. There are really only two options in life.
1.If the Lord is my shepherd, then I shall not want (be coveteous, be unhappy, be unsatisfied)
2. But if I am in want, then it is obvious that I am being lead or shepherded by someone else or something else..
3. If our vocation shepherds us, then there is restlessness, feverish activity and frustration.
4. If education is our shepherd, then we are constantly being disillusioned.
5. If another person is our shepherd, we are always disappointed and ultimately we are left empty.
But if the Lord is our shepherd, David says, we shall not want.
C. If the Lord is to be our shepherd, then we have to begin by recognizing that we are sheep.
Let me say something about sheep:
1. Sheep are dumb and they are dirty
2. They are timid and defenseless and helpless.
3. They are always getting lost and hurt and snake-bitten.
4. They literally do not know enough to come in out of the rain.
5. And then to have God tell me that I am a sheep, really hurts.
6. But if I am really honest with myself I know it is true.
7. I know that I lack wisdom and strength.
8. I know my tendency toward going my own way and doing my own thing.
9. I know that is me. I am a sheep.
10. Isaiah said it best: "We are all like sheep who have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way,"
11. And if Jesus Christ is to be my shepherd, I have to admit that I am a sheep and need a shepherd.
12. Once we admit that need a shepherd we discover the truth of what David is saying. We shall not want.
David now turns toward what the Shepard does: Psa 23:2,3 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
I/ The first thing the Good Shepard does, is to meet the needs of the inner man
1.The basic needs of a flock of sheep are grass and water. Here is a picturesque scene of sheep bedded down in grassy meadows, having eaten their fill and now totally satisfied, and then being led by still waters. Sheep are afraid of running water; they will drink only from a quiet pool.
2. The counterpart in our lives is obvious.
It is God who restores the inner man through his word. As we feed upon the word of God we see the Lord Jesus there.
We draw upon him and our inner man is satisfied.
John 6:35 Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
II. The second thing the Good Shepherd does, is to give direction in life:
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Or, as the margin indicates, "he leads me in right paths." The Hebrew word translated "paths" means "a well-defined, well-worn trail.
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