Summary: In Psalm 23 David described the Shepherd's provision, the Shepherd's protection, and the Shepherd's Plan. The relationship of sheep to Shepherd was one of dependence.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
1. A 3 year old boy had been naughty all day, so his parents sent him to his room for an hour of time-out. In 5 minutes he came out with his favorite stuffed toy, his piggy bank, and some clothes – heading for the front door.
2. “I’m running away from home,” he announced. “What will you do when you get hungry?” his Dad asked. “I’ll come home to eat!”
3. “And when you run out of money?” “I’ll come home for some more.” “And what will you do when your clothes get dirty?” “I’ll bring them home and let Mommy wash them.”
4. The father turned to the mother and said, “This kid isn’t running away from home, he’s going off to college!”
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
C. THESIS & TITLE
1. On April 15, 2004 shepherds caught a Merino male sheep in New Zealand, which had not been shorn for six years.
2. This particular sheep, named Shrek, apparently hid in caves to avoid being caught. He was named after the fictional ogre in books and films of the same name.
3. After finally being caught Shrek was shorn by professionals on TV and gained international fame. His fleece contained enough wool to make 20 large men's suits, weighing 60 pounds!
4. Shrek became the most famous sheep in the world, even going to parliament and meeting the New Zealand Prime Minister.
5. His is the story of a lost sheep being rescued. So there are many similarities to 23rd Psalm. The title of this message is “The Lord is My Shepherd.”
I. THE PROVISION OF THE SHEPHERD
A. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
Can you say, “The Lord is my shepherd”? It’s an expression of dependence. A sheep can’t live independently of his Shepherd! If Jesus is your Shepherd then you should be able to say with David:
B. “I SHALL LACK NOTHING.”
1. I do not lack, I cannot lack. I shall never lack with such a Shepherd as I have. He will provide for me. God Himself is my provision! All I need I have, for, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
2. Famine may come, and others may pine and perish, but in the worst season I shall not want, for, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
C. “HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES.”
1. Sheep need nourishment…lots of it, but have you ever noticed it says, “He makes me lie down.” Sheep don’t lie down if they’re afraid or stressed. They have to feel safe; they need to be relaxed.
2. Resting is so hard to attain that nobody ever reaches it except by the power of God. Where does He make us lie down? In green pastures! Our Shepherd not only feeds, but in such abundance that there is more than we can eat, so the Lord makes a couch of it for us.
D. “HE LEADS ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS.”
1. First there was inactivity, “lie down” now there is “progress,” ‘He leads me.” Not “He drives me, or drags me,” but He, Himself, leads, goes ahead to show the way.
2. The Judean wilderness is comprised of mostly sand, rocks and shrub brush. It’s rugged and hilly terrain; hot, dry and forbidding. And yet there are oasis’ in this wilderness, small wadis where you can find streams of water; quiet places where sheep can be fed, watered and refreshed.
3. The Psalmist pictures life on earth like this. The Shepherd leading us through the jagged hillsides to a place that’s quiet and serene; places where we can rest from the journey.
E. “HE RESTORES MY SOUL”
1. The Hebrew word “shoob” means to “return to the starting point;” “to recover, refresh, restore, to reverse.” There are times we need to ‘start over.’
2. New beginnings, new hopes, new dreams. When you spend quiet time with God your Shepherd, He puts your soul back into its originally good condition – whole, healthy, happy.
F. “HE LEADS ME IN THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE.”