Summary: Part 2 of the Good Shepherds look at Psam 23.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD – Part 2
First Baptist Church of Tawas City Michigan
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
• Psalm 23
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Last week we had Abel, the missionary from Italy here to speak, but the week before we talked about the 23 Psalm.
1. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
As you know, David himself was a shepherd. He was known as the “Shepherd King” of Israel. But he saw the Lord, God of Israel, as his Shepherd.
2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
It’s not easy to make a sheep lie down.
For a sheep to lie down, the fowling is a must;
1. They must be free from all fear.
Like sheep, we also are easily frightened. We live in an uncertain life. Any hour can bring disaster.
But nothing quiets our souls like knowing our Shepherd is near.
• Our Lord is with us;
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
We are to have peace and assurance in our Shepherd.
He leads us beside still waters.
Sheep will not drink from noisy, turbulent water. They require a well or slow-flowing stream.
Jesus made it clear that the thirsty souls of men and women can only be fully satisfied by coming to Him.
3. He restoreth my soul.
We stumble, we fall, we become helpless in our lives. And yet our shepherd is patient and tender and helpful in getting us back on our feet.
God’s grace is NOT God’s approval.
Our shepherd wants to restore us.
Restore us to what?
Restore us to a relation ship with our Father in heaven.
4. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
If sheep are left to themselves, they will continue to graze on the same hill until it is a desert.
We are like the sheep, we prefer to follow our own fancies and turn to our own ways.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
But we are not left alone to our own way, because the Lord has shown us the path of righteousness.
He leads us as any great shepherd would, though example.
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.”
Follow our shepherd’s steps, as He leads us in the way we should go.
That way is narrow, and can seem treacherous.
5. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
There are going to be valley’s in our lives. Some have many, some have few, but we all have them.
And we all have the shadow of death looming over us for we all must one day die.
This brings us to the second hale of the 23 Psalm today.
6. They rod and thy staff they comfort me.
A rod was a type of club. It was used for fending off predators like coyotes, wolves, cougars. In the brush it was used to beat away snakes.
But it was also used for discipline. If a sheep wonders away or gets too close to some danger, the rod is thrown to send the sheep back to the flock.
Remember a couple weeks ago, we read the scriptures about how the Lord disciplines those He loves.
• If He didn’t love us, he would allow us to do what ever we wanted and bring ourselves harm.
But this is not the case, when the Lord sees us heading in a direction other than His path of safety and righteousness, His discipline comes like that from a father to a child.
There is comfort in His rod which can strike at the wolves and snakes in our lives.
Remember we are warned that the devil is right now roaming as a lion LOOKING for whom he may devour or destroy.