Summary: A sermon on Psalm 23.
Of the 150 psalms, none has been read, sung, quoted from and written about more than the pearl of the psalms - psalm 23. All through the ages the language of this psalm has been precious to the hearts of God’s children. Augustine called psalm 23, the "hymn of the Martyrs," because countless numbers of them have quoted this passage as they perished for Christ’s sake.
Why has psalm 23 been a favorite of God’s people for so many generations? Perhaps because it reminds us of a comforting truth, which, though profound, is often forgotten by too many of us. That truth is this: Our Savior is sufficient for our every need!
The theme of psalm 23 is the sufficiency of our Savior. This theme is stated in the first verse, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." In verse 1, David makes a declaration concerning the Savior’s sufficiency to meet the believer’s every need, then in verses 2-5, we find an amplification of this great truth, followed in verse 6 with a summation of all he has said before.
1. The Declaration - v. 1
In verse 1, it should be noted that David speaks of the Savior’s sufficiency in personal terms. Literally, this verse could be translated, "The Lord is my very own shepherd." If you are among His sheep, you can place your finger on this first verse and claim the Lord as your shepherd; and if the Lord is your shepherd, then you know that you shall lack nothing!
2. The Amplification - vs. 2-5
As one of His sheep, God will provide you with . . .
A. Restful Refreshment - vs. 2-3a
Phillip Kellar, in his book, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23. says that it is impossible to make sheep lie down unless they are free from all fear.
David paints a picture here of a flock that can be made to lie down because they are free from all fear. They know that their shepherd will watch over them and provide for their every need!
Don’t you love the description of where the shepherd makes His sheep to lie down? The pastures are green and the waters are quiet. The whole picture is one of restful refreshment. The sheep can lie down because they are totally free from fear.
In the same way, through a personal relationship with Christ, one can be at peace, no matter what may take place in life, because he knows that his Savior will anticipate his every need.
A missionary was teaching a converted Hindu woman the Lord’s Prayer. When he got to the end of the first line, “Our Father, which art in heaven,” she said, “What a wonderful thought! If God is my Father, there is nothing now to fear.”
You see, when one becomes a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, he finds restful refreshment, inner tranquility, peace of mind. Why? Because when God is your Father, when He, the Lord, is your shepherd, you can relax, knowing that everything will be alright,
In this old world, where we are ever on the move, where we are constantly facing stress in one form or the other, and where we are always finding something new to worry about with every passing day, isn’t it good to know that as a child of God, I have a Savior who can lead me away from all that and bring restful refreshment to my heart? Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" - Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses; And he walks with me and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
Yes, we who know Christ as our personal Savior can rejoice because we know that with the Lord as our shepherd, we are provided with restful refreshment! When this old world is "getting us down," we can go to Him and He will "restore our soul."
B. Gracious Guidance - v. 3b
David tells us that "for His name’s sake," God guides His children in the "paths of righteousness." He says that because we belong to Him and bear His name, God will always be at work, seeking to lead us to that which is the highest and the best, to his good, acceptable, and perfect will for our lives (Romans 12:2b)!
Therefore, we ought to rejoice, knowing that since our God is a good God, He will always lead us in paths that are right! One need never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God!