Summary: the good shepherd

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Psalms 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


the 23rd psalm is undoubtedly one of the best-known passages in all the Bible.

Most of us learned it as children and it continues to be a comfort to those who are dying, or those who have lost loved ones.

I believe that it’s so well-loved because it is so personal and individual.

When we read it, we don’t think of David shepherding his sheep 3,000 years ago.

It applies to us. "The Lord is my shepherd".

Unfortunately, we live in a society where tending sheep is not a ordinary occupation. In fact, I would say that none of you even know a shepherd, much less are familiar with what a shepherd’s life is really like.

since we don't know much about a Shepherds life I think we have a tendency to lose a little bit of the meaning that David intended when he wrote these words.

This morning, I will be sharing with you things I learnt while studying for this message about the life of a Shepherd.

I think the more we know about a Shepherd the better we will understand what David probably felt as he wrote these words, "The Lord is my shepherd."

1. The Lord is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want

As you know, David was himself a shepherd.

He was known as the "Shepherd King" of Israel.

But he saw saw God, the Lord God of Israel, as his shepherd.

He speaks in this psalm as if he was one of the flock, one of the sheep.

it's as if he's bragging aloud, "Look who my shepherd is -- my owner -- my manager! The Lord is my shepherd

Because after all, he knew from firsthand experience that life of any particular sheep depends on the type of man who owns it.

Under one man, sheep might struggle, starve and suffer endless hardships.

But under another shepherd, they might flourish and thrive contentedly.

it is with pride that he says, “The Lord is my shepherd.”

He chose us, he bought us, he calls us by name, he makes us his own and he delights in taking care of us.

That last statement is really what this psalm is all about.

How the Lord takes care of us.

So David continues by saying, "I shall not want."

the Lord supplies our every need.

The Lord is my shepherd; we shall not lack anything.

In his book, I Shall Not Want, Robert Ketchum tells about a Sunday school teacher who asked her group of children if any of them could quote the entire twenty-third psalm. A little four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the podium, faced the class, made a little bow, and said: "The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I want." She then bowed again and sat down.

She may have overlooked a few verses, but I think that little girl captured David’s heart in Psalm 23. The idea throughout the psalm is that we are completely content in the shepherd’s care and there is nothing else that we desire.

we have all that we need

Notice that our Lord supplies our every need, not our every want.

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