Summary: In the 23rd Psalm we read of the relationship of the Shepherd and His sheep from the perspective of David who was the shepherd of his father's sheep.
The Study Of Psalms 23
The LORD Is My Shepherd
This is known as the most popular of the psalms and favored for several reasons.
• It is fairly easy to memorize
• It personalize our relationship with the LORD
David who grew up tending to his father’s sheep certainly understood the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep. So here he personalizes this relationship by inspiration of God.
In the Bible the LORD is given so many titles pertaining to His relationship with us and here we see Him identified as our Shepherd.
Shepherds: Abel, Moses, and David etc..,
Fact: The youngest boy of the family was given this responsibility. 1 Samuel 16:11
Consider the content of this first statement that is made by David under the inspiration of God
“The LORD is my shepherd”
Who? The LORD which excludes any other person or thing
The word “is” speaks to the present relationship
Note: He does not say the LORD was or will be my shepherd, but He is….
Point: He is implying that right now and here I am under the Shepherd’s care of the LORD
Also: The word “My” is significant to the verse
Example: If written “The LORD is a shepherd” He is just viewed as one among many.
Or “The LORD is the shepherd” Though we see the priority given, the personal relationship is undermined.
The LORD as mine and your shepherd is expressed in the Bible
See: John 10:14 I am the good shepherd
Then: Hebrews 13:20 the great shepherd
And: 1 Peter 5:4 the chief shepherd
1. The Speech of the Shepherd
As sheep we come to know the distinctive voice of the LORD our Shepherd (this is primarily due to a relationship).
See: John 10:1-2 Shepherds would at night put their sheep in a sheepfold at night and a porter (shepherd) would guard the opening until morning. The shepherds returns and would call their sheep from the fold.
Mention: Vs.1 The thief and robber is a picture of false shepherds who mistreat the sheep. (I.e. the scene in John 9:34-38)
Point: As sheep we are to be able to discern the voice of our Shepherd
John 10:3-5 and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice
Mention: Vs.14, 27 Not only do we know Him and His voice, but He knows us “My Shepherd”
2. The Sacrifice of the Shepherd
See: John 10:11 The good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep
Mention: Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
See: 1 Peter 2:24-25 The Shepherd and Bishop of our souls
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
Mention: John 10:17-18 He taketh His life again
3. The Security of the Shepherd
Mention: 1 Samuel 17:34-37 David tells Saul of how he fought a lion and bear as the shepherd of his father’s sheep.
See: John 10:12-13 The hireling is only there because he is getting paid to watch the sheep, but when danger comes he flees.
Comment: The sheep cannot survive without a Shepherd
Mention: Matt. 9:36 The previous statement gives more meaning to this verse.