Summary: The Lord is my shepherd and my king. Is He yours?
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD AND MY KING
Text: Psalm 23
A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school and he didn't want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to know that he was safe, yet give him the feeling that he had independence.
So she had an idea how to handle it. She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance so he wouldn't notice her. The neighbor said since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to exercise, so she agreed.
The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew. She did this the whole week.
As the two in front walked and chatted, Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally Timmy's friend said to him 'Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?'
Timmy nonchalantly replied, 'Yeah, I know who she is.' So the little girl said, 'Well, who is she?' 'That's just Shirley Goodnest,' Timmy replied, 'and her daughter Marcy.'
Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is she following us?' 'Well,' Timmy explained, 'every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!'
Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved Scriptures in all of God’s Word. Millions of people, some of them not even Christians, have memorized it, and use it when they need comfort and support. I have heard it read at funerals to help console those that are grieving. Preachers use it in the hospital to give peace to those that are suffering. The KJV of this scripture is so familiar to most people, that it almost seems like a crime to read it in any other version.
The problem with the Scripture being so familiar to us though, is that we often glaze over what it is actually saying to us. If we are not careful, we can become so familiar with what it says and completely miss what it means.
The title of this Psalm is merely, “A Psalm of David.” We know nothing about when it was composed, or what the circumstances were that inspired David to write it. We do know this however – David reveals some very intimate details about how God cares for us in this Psalm. David compares his Lord and Savior first with a shepherd, and then as a king.
Why would David compare his Lord with a shepherd? We know from scripture that David had been a shepherd himself in his youth, so he knew firsthand what it meant to be a shepherd. The first thing that David says about his Shepherd is “The Lord is MY shepherd; I shall not want.” (v. 1) David makes it personal. David was the king of Israel, and as their leader, he fulfilled the shepherd role for his people. But David was saying, “I may be your shepherd, but the Lord is MY shepherd.”