Summary: an exposition of psalm 23

PSA 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

PSA 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

PSA 23:3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

PSA 23:4 ¶ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

PSA 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

PSA 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Do more beloved words exist in the English language? Memorized by children and clung to by the dying. In these lines sinners find hope, saints find an anchor and the struggling find a friend and I look forward to mining the treasures of it with you in the next 2 weeks. But before we do….. Allow me to read to you some actual police reports I found on the internet. You’ll understand the significance of these in a couple of minutes. Our first 2 accounts take place in Arizona. A man successfully broke into a bank's basement through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the process. He then realized that he had 3 very distinct problems. (1) he could not get to the money from where he was,(2) he could not climb back out the window through which he had entered, and (3) he was bleeding pretty badly. So he located a phone and dialed "911" for help ... After medical treatment he was promptly arrested. A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for Western movies, One day, they received a call from a 47-year- old woman, who wanted to know how much it would cost to knock off her husband. She got 4-1/2 years in jail. Lets move to Redondo Beach, California - After a short chase, officer Joseph Fonteno charged the driver of a white Mazda with a DUI. The car had been driving down Pacific Coast Highway with the upper half of a traffic light pole laying across its hood. When Fonteno asked the drunk driver about the pole, he responded: "It came with the car when I bought it."

Michigan: Drug possession defendant Christopher Jansen, on trial in March in Pontiac, Michigan, said he had been searched without a warrant. The prosecutor said the officer didn't need a warrant because a "bulge" in Christopher's jacket could have been a gun. Nonsense, said Christopher, who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day in court. He promptly removed the jacket and handed it over to the judge for inspection. It turns out that the bulge that the judge discovered wasn’t a gun after all but a large packet of cocaine that Mr. Jansen forgot to remove. This caused the judge to laugh so hard that he required a five-minute recess to compose himself. Still in Michigan, A pair of robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody moves or I shoot!" When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him. Lets move to Arkansas, it seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. He later discovered that the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass and the whole event was caught on videotape.

I saved the best one for last. Seattle Washington. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very ill man curled up next to the motor home. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline but apparently plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. Did I mention he tried to siphon it? The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying it was the best laugh he'd ever had in his whole life. Man, talk about stupid!

Can anyone be dumber than those guys? Maybe we better withhold our judgement until next week. Lets look at verse 1 together.

PSA 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd,

I must be honest with you. All that I know about farming and the habits of livestock, I’ve gathered from watching reruns of Green Acres. So, most of the facts I will give you, I got from a book by a real shepherd named Phillip Keller in his book, a shepherd looks at the 23rd psalm. However, David, the author of this psalm was himself a shepherd and the son of a shepherd and was later to be known as the shepherd king of Israel. So when he writes to us it is from the unique position of being able to identify both as a shepherd and a sheep.

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