Summary: The Lord is my Shepard
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
by Rev Stanley Baker
The 23rd Psalm begins with these familiar words, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
When someone says, "I shall not want," we need to sit up & take notice because of the times that we are living now.
Listen to these words by Jason Lehman:
It was spring. But it was summer I wanted
The warm days, & the great outdoors.
It was summer. But it was fall I wanted
The colorful leaves, & the cool, dry air.
It was fall. But it was winter I wanted
The beautiful snow, & the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter. But it was spring I wanted
The warmth, & the blossoming of nature.
I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted
The freedom, & the respect I wanted.
I was 20. But it was 30 I wanted
To be mature, & sophisticated.
I was middle aged. But it was 20 I wanted
The youth, & the free spirit.
I was retired. But it was middle age I wanted
The presence of mind, without limitations.
Then my life was over, & I never got what I wanted.
Many people never seem be satisfied, & almost everybody wants more.
A little child wants more toys & more television time.
A teenager wants more freedom & more popularity.
Most adults want more possessions & more leisure time.
And as we age, we want more health, more friends, & more loyalty from our children.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Obviously, God wants us to be a happy, satisfied people.
We shouldn’t be restless & jealous, always chafing about what we don’t have.
There should be a spirit of thankfulness in us that brands us as belonging to Him.
So with the 23rd Psalm in mind, notice 3 great reasons to be thankful.
IN THIS LIFE THE God GIVES US ALL WE NEED
We can be thankful because in this life the Good Shepherd gives us all we need."
Frequently in the Bible human beings are compared to sheep. Now that sounds nice, but surely you realize that is not necessarily a compliment, because sheep are among the dumbest & dirtiest animals in the world.
So when Isaiah says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray" he is not saying, "That’s good." He’s saying, "That’s bad, because we’re just about on a level with sheep."
When Jesus looked out on the people with compassion, the Gospel writers say that He saw them "like sheep without a shepherd". That’s not a compliment, either, but a concern, because sheep are so helpless when they’re all alone.
Philip Keller was a sheep rancher & he authored a book called, "A Shepherd Looks at the Twenty third Psalm," he says that they require more attention than any other livestock.
They just can’t take care of themselves.
Unless their shepherd makes them move on, sheep will actually ruin a pasture, eating every blade of grass, until finally a fertile pasture is nothing but barren soil.
Sheep are nearsighted & very stubborn, but easily frightened.
An entire flock can be stampeded by a one lone jackrabbit.
They have little means of defense.
They’re timid, feeble creatures.
Their only recourse is to run if no shepherd is there to protect them.
Can you see that I have to protect you from the world.
Sheep have no homing instincts.
A dog, horse, cat, or a bird can find its way home, but when a sheep gets lost, it’s a gone sheep unless someone rescues it.
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
So one over riding principle of the 23rd Psalm is that sheep can’t make it without a shepherd.
And the only reason that David could say, "I shall not want," is because David could first say, "The Lord is my Shepherd."
Now let’s look at what David says the Good Shepherd does for his sheep.
He tells us that "He makes us lie down in green pastures."
Here, is a picture of sheep so completely satisfied that there isn’t the least desire for anything more.
He’s so content he lies down in green pastures.
But did you notice the wording?
David said, "He makes me lie down."
We sometimes have to be forced to lie down.