Summary: Relying on the Good Shepherd is the key. Briefly explore the stresses and mistakes, triumphs and victories of David through the eyes of Psalms 23:1
Don’t be Afraid, Fear Not!
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
There is nothing that compare to being afraid. Caught up in the grip of fear.
Fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain. Whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid can paralyze a person.
The unknown causes a great deal of fear in all of us. Some are afraid of heights, snakes, spikers, clowns, and the dark. There are all kinds of phobias that send an impending feeling of anxiety and fear throughout our bodies…
Fear starts at a very early age in our life. Have you ever seen a toddler, when separated from their parents, immediately start crying because they are scared and afraid?
Remember your first day of school? The fear, anxiety and uneasiness you experience as you climb up on the school bus for the first time,
entering a new unknown experience. Waving goodbye from the school bus doors?
What about trying to go to bed at night, when your imagination would get the best of you…Monsters under the bed, noises and bumps in the night. Night lights and story-time before falling to sleep kept those fears from creeping in at night.
5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. "It’s dark in there and I’m scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It’s OK--Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: "Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?"
Back in my day…Middle school was grades 7-9 and High school was 10-12. I remember walking down the hall and this huge building with what seemed to be hundreds of doors and winding hallways and seeing these large senior’s head toward me. I was terrified as they made fun of me, knocked my books out of my hand and even physically assaulted me. I was afraid to go to school for several days until an instructor saw it going on and took action against these four students. As we get older, we continue to fear but our fears change. We begin to fear the death of loved ones, illness or separation from ones we love.
There is something about the 23rd Psalm where people in fear, hurting turn to for comfort. I have read this Psalms at Funerals, to family and patients sick at the hospital. This whole Psalm is written for us to face our fears.
The author of this Psalm was a Shepherd by trade, David was thought to have a harmonic voice, a musician and could sing with a voice like honey. David recounts the kind things God had done for him as his shepherd.
Responsibilities of a Shepherd:
He takes them into their fold, and takes care of them, protects them from evil that is ready to pounce on them. A shepherd provides for them, his primary concern, his primary business is keeping the flock.
David is saying here that if God is our Shepherd, that makes us HIS flock. We are his sheep, meek, and silent. We must know the shepherd’s voice, and follow him.
1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
David begins by recognizing that the Lord is his shepherd. David himself was a shepherd, he understood what it takes to be a good, caring shepherd for his flock. He recognizes what need his sheep has for a shepherd, and how important it is to have a shepherd that is skillful and faithful. David is writing God’s care for his people;
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
A. Facing our Fears:
We are not for sure, but some Bible scholars believe that David penned this Psalm before coming to the crown as King, other believe he penned the Psalm later on in life. It doesn’t really matter. David had been in situations where he was begging to Ahimelech, or sent a man begging for him to Nabal. The other side of the spectrum he was the King of Israel; Where-ever he was in his live, he still considers God as his shepherd and boldly pens, “I shall not want.”
Trouble and pain was no stranger to David. David understood conflict, war, he had been discouraged a few times along the way. Many of the Psalms believed to have been penned by David are full of complaints, but not the 23rd Psalms.