Summary: David in this Psalm assures us of God

Psalm 23


The word Psalm comes from the Hebrew word “Tehillim” meaning praises. Its name in Latin comes from the Greek word “Psalmoi” which means twanging of harp strings. This book is known as the hymnbook of the Bible and thus when read or sung it was with the accompaniment of music.

The Israelites incorporated these psalms into their worship. That’s why David said “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise.” They did this with the singing of Psalm.

Now contrary to what many believe, David did not write all of the Psalms. David wrote 73. Solomon wrote 2. Hernan wrote 1. Ethan wrote 1. Moses wrote 1. The Levitical singing clans of Asaph and Korath wrote 23. 49 remain anonymous to which theologians attribute to David.

I’ve often heard a person say when he or she has finished reading a Psalm that “I have just read the 23rd or 50th division of Psalm. Well, that incorrect! There are only 5 divisions of Psalm. 1- 41 (1st division) 42- 72 (2nd division) 73- 89 (3rd division) 90- 106 (4th division) and 107- 150 (5th division).

This brings me to another fact. In order to understand the 23rd Psalm, we must realize that it is part of a trilogy. Trilogy means three. In order to understand Psalm 23, we must have an understanding of Psalm 22 and Psalm 24. Psalm 22 talks about the past. Psalm 23 talks about the present. Psalm 24 talks about the future. Psalm 22 begins with the words that Jesus spoke on the cross. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?” My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Psalm 23 tells us that the Lord is my shepherd right now. Psalm 24 asks the question “who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord and who shall stand in His Holy Place?”

This 23rd Psalm begins with David talking about the Lord and describing Him as the Shepherd. I become disturbed whenever I hear people describing the Pastor as the shepherd of the flock. The Pastor is the under shepherd or shepherd’s assistant. John 10: 16 tells us regardless of what we call ourselves, regardless of our denomination, there is only one flock and therefore there can be only one shepherd. David says that if you are looking for the shepherd, “the Lord is My Shepherd.”

Let’s look at this matter a little closer. The shepherd is the owner of the sheep. Therefore, he is able to meet all of the needs of the sheep. If you are sick, you can come to the Pastor for prayer, but if you want healing, you need to go to the Shepherd. If you are in trouble, you can come to the Pastor for counseling, but if you want deliverance, you need to go to the Shepherd.

David knew something about sheep. Jesus often referred to us as sheep. All we like sheep have gone astray. My sheep know my voice, a stranger they will not follow. You see, anytime you have sheep, then you must realize that you have goats also. Every Under Shepherd knows how to distinguish sheep from goats. You can lead sheep, but you have to drive goats!

Let’s look at this Psalm. I have divided this psalm into five B’s.

1. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. The 1st B is beneath me. God has blessed us with green pastures. Our homes, cars and clothes are green pastures. We find green pastures in the refrigerator…..

2. He leadeth me beside the still waters. The 2nd B is beside me. Sheep love quietness. They won’t drink from water that is moving. The Shepherd has to go upstream and block the water so that when it gets to the sheep, it is calm. Christians love quietness and calmness. Any person who is a hell raiser is not a sheep, but a goat.

David says “He restoreth my soul.” I can’t make a mistake so bad, that I can’t be forgiven. I can’t fall so low that His hand can’t pick me up. He’s able to bring me back into relationship with Him. When God forgive me, I’ve been forgiven. When God restores me, I’ve been restored as if I’ve never fallen.

3. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. The 3rd B is before me. I’ve got a path before me. God’s path is straight and narrow. You can’t veer to the left or to the right. This path is so straight that old folks used to sing “Lord, guide my feet while I run this race.”

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. David lets us know that we are going to have some experiences that are going to feel like death, but they are only shadows and shadows have never killed anybody. Even though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I realize that I don’t have to make camp. I just keep on walking. I know that behind every dark cloud there’s a silver lining. I keep on walking because weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning. I keep on walking because I’m so glad that trouble don’t last always.

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