Summary: “The Sheep's Shepherd”
Psalms 23:1-6 “The Sheep's Shepherd” “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (v. 1). The word “Lord” in verse 1 is the word “Jehovah.” The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Thus the Christian may make the 23rd Psalm his very own. This Psalm is often called, “The Shepherd Psalm.” It speaks of the Lord as our Shepherd and we are the sheep of His fold. But it is also "The Sheep's Psalm" as he talks about his Shepherd. It is the testimony of a believer witnessing to what the Lord means to him. Four things stand out regarding our relationship to the Shepherd. I. Our relationship to the Shepherd is PERSONAL. We read in verse 1: “The Lord is my shepherd.” In this little Psalm of six verses there are seventeen personal pronouns. The word “my” is used seven times alone. Not only is He A Shepherd, not only is He THE Shepherd, but He is My Shepherd. Salvation is a very intimate and extremely personal thing. I. JESUS LOVES THE SHEEP Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. A. Even Though They May Be UNLOVELY B. Even Though They May Be UNGODLY C. Even Though They May Be UNINTERESTED II. JESUS LAYED DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS SHEEP John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. A. He Died VOLUNTARILY B. He Died VICARIOUSLY C. He Died VICTORIOUSLY III. JESUS LOOKS FOR THE SHEEP Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. A. They Are A SCATTERED SHEEP 1. Abused By Sin 2. Abused By Satan B. They Are A STRAYING SHEEP Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray” C. They Are A SINFUL SHEEP
IV. JESUS GIVES LIFE TO THE SHEEP John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. A. SPIRITUAL LIFE B. VICTORIOUS LIFE C. ETERNAL LIFE V. JESUS LABELS THE SHEEP "and calleth his own sheep by name" John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. A. They Receive An INDIVIDUAL CALLING B. They Receive An INDIVIDUAL CARE C. They Receive An INDIVIDUAL COMFORT VI. JESUS LIBERATES THE SHEEP John 10:3 and leadeth them out A. From The ROARING LION (1 Peter 5:8) B. From The RAVENOUS WOLVES C. From The ROCKY & ROUGH WILDERNESS VII. JESUS LEADS THE SHEEP "and leadeth them out" A. He Leads Them To PASTURE B. He Leads Them In PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS C. He Leads Them Unto PEACE (Beside The Still Waters) II. Our relationship to the Shepherd is PRESENT. Notice again the words: “The Lord is my shepherd.” Not was, but is. Not shall be, but is. “Is” is present tense. Following this thought through we note the words “maketh” (v. 2), “leadeth” (v. 2), “restoreth” (v. 3), “anointeth” (v. 5), “overflows” (v. 5) are all in the present tense. He is my Shepherd today. III. Our relationship to the Shepherd is also PRACTICAL. To have Christ as our Shepherd is the most practical thing in life. We read again the words: “The Lord is my shepherd.” “I SHALL NOT WANT” (v. 1) or better still “I shall not worry.” Why? Because it is the Shepherd's business to care for the sheep. As David declares : “Rest in the Lord; and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7). “He knows, He loves, He cares, Nothing this truth can dim; He gives the very best to those, who leave the choice with Him.” “HE MAKETH ME TO LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES” (v. 2). This concerns eating. A sheep only lies down when it is satisfied. If it lies down in green pastures it is because it has had enough. “HE LEADETH ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS” (v. 2). Water is refreshing, invigorating and necessary. Paul wrote: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “HE RESTORETH MY SOUL” (v. 3). The Shepherd is concerned with our spiritual needs. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. “HE LEADETH ME IN THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS” (v. 3). Divine guidance is constantly our privilege. Things do not just happen in the lives of believers. As David later declared: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 37:23). The Holy Spirit is our Guide for He knows the way. “YEA, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL” (v. 4). The “valley of the shadow” is a fearsome place for the sheep. We shrink from it. - we need not fear for our Shepherd has gone before us and will be with us. “THOU PREPAREST A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES” (v. 5). “THOU ANOINTEST MY HEAD WITH OIL, MY CUP OVERFLOWS” (v. 5). Oil was the primary medicine of the Orient. The shepherd used palm and olive oil to cleanse, soothe and heal the scratches, cuts and bruises which the sheep receive in the course of their travels. Now oil in the Bible is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. “SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE” (v. 6). The sheep's day at last is over. It safely lies down to sleep with an air of confidence that it is going to be protected throughout the night. IV. Our relationship to the Shepherd is PERMANENT . verse 6: “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The Christian is on his way home. On his way to Heaven. We may not know WHEN we are going, but we know WHERE we are going. “In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. The Spirit of God is preparing the people here while the Son of God is preparing a place there.