The Great Shepherd Psalms 23:1-23:6

All over this world there are any number of religions, people worship every thing from snakes to trees to cows, the moon, the sun, to satan himself, the list goes on and on of the objects people worship. They have prayer clothes, prayer beads, chants, cutting themselves on their chest, I suppose we could keep naming things that people do that they think is in some way are another going to help get them to what ever they think heaven must be.

But folks the real truth of the matter is, you cannot find peace while living away from the God who formed you. And you cannot have peace living against the laws of God, which are built into the universe. Isaiah 48:22 22There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. Peace is found in knowing the True and only God and living for him, and accepting His Son as our Great Shepherd.

Listen as I read today’s text: the 23rd Psalm

1 The 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 forever.

Just reading this psalm brings a kind of peace and reassurance into our souls. The 23rd Psalm is talking about the Great Shepherd of our souls, and how he cares for us.

David reflected on God’s many blessings to him and concluded that God would continue

to be faithful to him and grant him fellowship in the future. This is a psalm of trust and

confidence in God’s goodness in the present and in the future.

The first thing that the psalm says about the Great Shepherd is that: He provides. 1 The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

David is saying that God is the Great Shepherd. And because the Lord is his Shepherd, he will not be in want. He has the sense that God is watching over him and providing for him. The Lord is always beside him and looking after his needs. There is great peace that has come into David’s life, in spite of his many problems, because he has this overwhelming sense that God loves him and cares about him.

God wants the best for him and leads his life in ways so that he will find God’s best. The Bible says, 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Imagine what it would be like to live and not be aware that God loves us and wants the best for us, David had that assurance, and it was what kept him going through all the problems he faced in life.

David said that God was like a good shepherd that took his sheep to green pastures and led them to quiet waters. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. As his Shepherd, God provided David with spiritual rest and nourishment.

How wonderful it is to be in the care of the One who provides for us so graciously. Notice the shepherd does not take the sheep into barren places, but pastures that have sufficient supply.

This often means that the flock will have to stay on the move, and as the grass is eaten in one place, the sheep are led to another and then another. And when the sheep are thirsty, the good shepherd does not take the sheep to streams that are turbulent with rapids and rushing white water, because the sheep could be swept downstream.

He takes them to the quiet waters where they can wade in and quench their thirst without fear or danger.

Our Shepherd the Lord Jesus says to us: in John 7:37 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. And as we drink from him, he restores our soul. We come alive.

Human shepherds may be different. There are various personality types. There are those who don’t really care for the sheep and are rough with them. They don’t care for the sheep they only care about themselves.

They don’t make life pleasant for the sheep; they only make life easy for themselves. And that’s tragic for the sheep, because sheep are slow-witted. They wander off and get lost. They are in need of constant care.

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