Summary: One of the most well-known phrases in all of literature is: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” In order to do this we must: Focus on the relationship, rest in His provision, and sense His renewal.
March 26th Psalm 23:1-3 Rest & Renew
Focus on the relationship
“The Lord is my shepherd” v.1
“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me…The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” John 10:14, 11
Rest in His provision
“there is nothing I lack” v.1
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.” Matthew 11:28-29
Sense His renewal
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Vv.2-3
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well p of water springing up within him for eternal life. John 4:13-14
Welcome/highlights/heads up—offering in just about 5 minutes/ “it’s going to be a different Sunday…” /fellowship
Seated: table out, Russ up
One of the most well-known phrases in all of literature is: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” I learned it at an early age, 4-5 years old—maybe earlier. I was raised in the city, so I didn’t know what a shepherd was. I’m not even sure I knew what all the words meant, but there was something deeply soothing and deeply satisfying about the words: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Beginning today and for the next few weeks, we’re going to let our souls soak in this, the best known of all the psalms.
The Psalms are a part of the section in the Old Testament called the Books of Poetry. They included Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon & Ecclesiastes. The psalms were a collection of songs for worship that the Hebrews would use called the Tehillim: book of praise. It would be similar to the hymn books we grew up with, though they were not bound in a book as we know it; they would be written on scrolls. We call them “Psalms” because the Septuagint, which was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament translated in the 3rd Century B.C., used the word Psalms (psalmos): to pluck. To pluck; not plucking feathers, but plucking an instrument. I know that sounds funny, but these psalms were set to music and the most common instrument was a lyre: stringed instrument. (pic of lyre)
Chapter divisions in the Bible weren’t added until the 13th century A.D., so the ancient Hebrew wouldn’t know this Psalm as the 23rd Psalm. They would know it by the first phrase or sentence of the Psalm. They would just know it as the Psalm that began with, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
We’re going to read the entire Psalm each of the next 3 weeks, so let’s stand and read it together this morning. We are using the Holman Christian Study Bible, which we use as our official translation at Rush Creek. I admit that it doesn’t quite have the melodious, sentimental value of the old King James, but the truths of the psalm are powerful no matter what translation, no matter what language.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. 2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff —they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.
Offering—Song by Audrey Assad “I Shall Not want” As offering buckets are passed Room black; spot on male/female on stools; or just female w/male off light. No words on the screen “Stay seated and soak this song in.”
The title of this series is “Overloaded.” Why? Because there is not a person here that doesn’t feel overloaded from time to time. In fact, my best guess is that many if not most of us feel overloaded ALL of the time, right? Kind of like these trucks? (show all 3 pics at 3 second intervals)
In a life that is fast paced and is full of demands, most of us feel incredibly overstressed, overburdened, and overloaded. If you want to know how to thrive in the midst of a culture that puts us in overload every day, this Psalm is for you. Because this Psalm is read so often at funerals, we tend to associate it with death. But in fact, this song is really about life and how to live it well.