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Summary: In the 23rd Psalm we see David reflecting upon his life from the Green Pastures of his youth to the valley of the shadow of death(which was not far off). He notes one common theme namely that the Lord was his shepherd, today can we say the same thing?

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Is The Lord My Shepherd?

Psalm 23

ORIENTATION:

• Have you ever taken a moment to reflect upon your life?

• To simply stop what you are doing, be quite and reflect?

• For some of us maybe this is too difficult (the hurts to great, and pain to unbearable) for others impossible (especially if you lived through the 60’s and 70’s) but for the vast majority it can be a very rewarding experience.

INTRODUCTION:

• Today this is exactly what we are going to find David doing, David writes this Psalm at the back end of his life and in it he is reflecting.

• Reflecting on the good, the incredible, the bad, the unbearable and the seemingly insignificant times that now have much emotional attachment.

• This psalm encompasses the whole of David’s life from the green pastures of his childhood youth, to the shadow of death which David must have understood was not far off.

• Within the process of reflecting, David notes one common thread throughout the entirety of his life, that common thread comes alive in this Psalm as we read “The Lord is my Shepherd”.

• David had realized that regardless of his situations God was always his shepherd.

• THE GREAT NEWS IS THAT THE LORD DESIRES TO BE YOUR SHPEHERD AS WELL!

PROPOSITION:

Today we are going to see that those who allow the Lord to be their shepherd will have three things in common with David…

PREVIEW:

1. We Will Experience Restoration (vs. 1-3)

2. We Will Experience Reassurance (vs. 3-5)

3. We Will Experience Rescue (vs. 6)

TRANSITION:

Let me show you what they are…

I. We Will Experience Restoration (vs. 1-2 green pastures, quiet waters, restoration)

EXPLAINATION:

• Sometimes we have experiences when, even in spite of physical health, we are IN A LIVING DEATH.

• Our will to live can fade and our hope can flee far from us…

Yet As David reflects back upon his life he remembers how the Lord has restored him from that place… (Bathsheba / Man after my own heart).

• Reflecting back upon His life, David illustrates this restoration with two pictures…

Vs. 2 – Green Pastures –

 The Lord is a place of rest without fear or distraction – (Don’t we all long to rest in green pastures?)

o Vs. 2 – Quiet Waters –

 The Lord is the fresh, quiet truth we drink for the sustenance of our lives.

o Vs. 3 – Restores My Soul –

• Regardless of what is transpiring in our lives we experience restoration when we rest in the shepherd and allow the shepherd to speak truth into our lives.

ILLUSTRATION:

• There is only thing better than seeing an old car or house being completely restored it is to see a life that is completely restored.

• God longs to take the beat up, dented messes of our lives and restore them to shine, God wants to make you the “light of the world”

APPLICATION:

• When we allow Christ to be our shepherd, the process of restoring the deepest parts of us, our souls begins. (Mt 11:28 “You will find rest for your souls”)

• Do you have that restoration that David is describing in those two illustrations (green pastures, quiet waters)?

TRANSITION:

But not only will we experience restoration we will also experience…

II. We Will Experience Reassurance (vs.4-5 I will not fear death, enemies)

EXPLAINATION:

• Like us, David’s life was not always green pastures but he experienced the reassurance of God during the difficult times as well…

• 1 Sam 17:39 David / Goliath “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.”

• David had the reassurance of his shepherd, both against our enemies and in death.

o Reassurance in Death (which was not far off for David)

o Reassurance against our enemies (Of which David had many)

• The Shepherd gives us the reassurance to make it through this difficult life and the death that follows.

ILLUSTRATION:

The early American Indians had a unique practice of training young braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and the tribe. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods and he was terrified! Every time a twig snapped, he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was his father. He had been there all night long.

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