Summary: To prove that we as Christians have a wonderful Shepherd who will only lead us to blessings upon blessings if we but only follow Him as His sheep.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
Text: Psalm 23
Thesis: To prove that we as Christians have a wonderful Shepherd who will only lead us
to blessings upon blessings if we but only follow Him as His sheep.
1. This psalm is said to be a complete illustration of total trust in God.
2. The leading thought is that God will provide for His people.
3. David is advocated by many as being the author, and there is no real compelling evidence to prove otherwise.
a. Some suggest that he penned this psalm during the time of the rebellion under Absolom (e.g., Keil and Delitzsch).
b. Nevertheless, the time period isn’t important in the sense that the thoughts are true no matter what situation may come.
4. He would have been well familiar with the idea of a shepherd.
a. David was the “shepherd-boy.”
b. David described his encounter with a lion and a bear as he tended his father’s sheep (I Sam. 17.34-36).
c. He had to protect his father’s sheep, but he knew that it was God who delivered him (I Sam. 17.37).
d. Hence, he always had the knowledge that someone was watching over him.
5. A shepherd was always watching over his sheep, protecting them, and caring and providing for them, because they were completely dependant upon him.
6. What a comforting thought it is for a child of God to know that he has the Great Shepherd watching over him.
I. The Lord is a personal Shepherd (Psa. 23.1-3).
A. Notice the phrase, “my Shepherd” (Psa. 23.1).
1. “My” could be replaced with one’s own name.
2. In the KJV, there are 16 personal pronouns used.
3. Therefore, the Lord is concerned about each one of His people.
4. He knows you, and He watches over you.
a. Jesus says, “I know my sheep” (John 10.14).
b. He even knows the very number of hairs upon our head (Matt. 10.30).
5. Even the usage of “Shepherd” shows us that the image here is personal because a shepherd “lives with his flock and is everything to it” (Kidner 110).
6. “The God of Israel is also the God of individuals” (VanGemeren 215).
B. Therefore, as a result of this, “I” shall not want (Psa. 23.1).
1. One has said that this means “therefore I can lack nothing.”
a. We have been promised all of our needs (Matt. 6.25-34).
b. The Hebrew writer tells us that our Good Shepherd will make us complete (Heb. 10.20-21).
2. Matthew Henry wrote, “I shall be supplied with whatever I need; and, if I have not everything I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me, or I shall have it in due time.”
3. Adam Clark wrote, “How can they? He who is their Shepherd has all power in heaven and earth, therefore he can protect them.”
C. One’s Shepherd will lead him to the green pastures (Psa. 23.2).
1. The scene here is the green pastures where the sheep will be able to eat plentiful.
a. Our Shepherd thinks of His sheep.
(1) “In the winter of 1910-11 an unprecedented storm ravaged Northern Syria. It was accompanied by a snowfall of more than 3 ft., which covered the ground for weeks. During that time, hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats perished, not so much from the cold as from the fact that they could get no food” (Patch).
(2) With God, we never have to worry about this.
b. Also, He leads us to the best of the best.
2. Then, after they have eaten their fill, they lie down.
3. The idea here is a “flock whose wants are supplied, lying down in the midst of abundance” (Barnes).
4. Even in the midst of enemies, the sheep are able to sleep because of their confidence in their shepherd watching over them.
D. One’s Shepherd will lead him beside the still waters (Psa. 23.2).
1. Literally, the original renders a meaning of “waters of rest.”
2. This verse speaks of the tranquility that belongs to one in fellowship with God.
a. Truly, we have peace with God (Rom. 5.1).
b. That is the peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4.7).
E. One’s Shepherd will restore his soul (Psa. 23.3).
1. My Shepherd will revive and reinvigorate my soul when it is exhausted and weary.
2. This pictures the deeper renewal of the man of God.
3. Keil and Delizsch suggests that the word itself “signifies to bring back the soul that is as it were flown away, so that it comes to itself again, therefore to impart new life, recreate. This He does to the soul, by causing it amidst the dryness and heat of temptation and trouble, to taste the very essence of life which refreshes and strengthens it.”