Summary: A relevant series looking at Psalm 23
July 15, 2012
I heard about a man who hated his wife's cat. He wanted to get rid of it, but she wouldn't let him. Finally, he decided he had enough! So, he put the cat in his car and drove to the other side of town, let the cat out, and drove home with a smile. As he pulled into his driveway, there was the cat walking up the driveway. He couldn’t believe it.
The next day, he put the cat back in the car and drove ten miles away. He let the cat out, then sped back as fast as he could. As he pulled into the driveway, there was the cat yawning and walking in the house.
He was furious! So, the next day he put the cat in the car and drove way out in the country. He drove down some dirt roads with no street signs and found the deepest part of the woods and he dropped the cat off. He was certain he succeeded in his mission.
A few hours later, the man called his wife at home and asked her, "Honey is the cat there?" The wife answered, "Yes, why do you ask?" The furious and frustrated man said, "put her on the phone, I'm lost and I need directions."
Cats can find their way home! Dogs can find their way home, people usually can find their way home, but sheep can’t!
On their own sheep become easily lost. If they turn their head for a moment, or if they lose track of where they are going, they end up going in the wrong direction. Sheep are easily led astray. They're needy, defenseless, and nervous. That's why we have the picture in the New Testament of leaving the 99 to go and get the one who was lost.
Maybe that's why there are so many comparisons to people and sheep in the Bible. We can easily lose our way, and then we need divine intervention from the Good Shepherd to get us back on track.
I remember a Fox sports special on the life of Mike Tyson. During the interview, Tyson said he looks forward to his next life and hopes he will then find joy and peace. Isn’t that a sad statement. Especially, from a man who had it all. I don’t want to wait for the next life, I want to experience it now. Tyson could have been the greatest and wealthiest boxer in history, but now he’s a has-been, trying to make it in Vegas. He believes death will bring him peace. I have bad news for Mike Tyson, unless he comes to meet the Shepherd, his present life will look like a bed of roses.
We’ve been focusing on the most famous of all Psalms, Psalm 23. Last week we finished verse 1. It’s a crucial verse for us to hold onto. Remember, the Lord, my Lord, and your Lord, is our Lord and Shepherd. He is a personal God, who wants to be in relationship with us. He will always be our Shepherd, so long as we are willing to be His sheep.
So today I want to look at verses 2 and 3.
Verse 2 tells us, our Shepherd makes us lie down in green pastures, He leads us beside quiet waters, He restores our soul.
It sounds great, but what does it really mean?
The shepherd leads his sheep to a lush pasture where they have plenty to eat and their stomachs are full. The sheep are so satisfied, that they don’t have any other desires. The sheep are so content, they lie down in green pastures.