Summary: An Adaptation of the 23rd Psalm: This message serves as a reminder that we are sheep and it is our responsibility to follow the shepherd in every aspect of our journey even when the road becomes rough in our lives.
Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd…
This morning I want to break this first verse up so that we can get a better grasp as to what the Psalmist David was saying.
The passage starts with The LORD – The first thing to note is the source of David’s comfort.
It is ‘The LORD’ who is his shepherd!
This name written in the text is “Yahweh’, the sovereign, almighty, delivering God!
So many people place their trust and hope is all sorts of so-called ‘lords’. But David had it right in ‘The LORD’
– the one true God who created and controls all things.
This also shows us our need of giving Him His rightful place as Lord over our life.
Then it continues with
Is – Can you say that?
Do you have the confidence to say that the almighty God IS your Shepherd right now?
Not was, like He helped you in the past.
Not will be, like you look forward to something He will do… but IS.
(As in a right now God)
David had extreme confidence in who God is right now! Do you?
It continues with…
My – This is probably the best thing about this psalm… it is so personal!
When you read this text in Psalm, note how many times ‘I, my, me, he, his’ are used.
There are only 6 verses in the chapter but these terms are used about 30 times!
The wonderful discovery in this text is that the Lord is not just a shepherd who looks after the entire flock,
but He is MY shepherd because He is that interested in each and every one of His sheep!
Do you know much about shepherds? What does a shepherd do?
Let’s think about this.
A shepherds main purpose is to provide, protect, and guide his sheep.
In the New Testament Jesus often used this analogy of the sheep and the shepherd to describe His relationship with those who came to believe in Him.
In John 10:11, Jesus called Himself the ‘Good Shepherd’.
When we read the first verse
(Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.)
The Psalmist is indicating that with the Lord protecting and providing for us then we shall not be in lack of what we need.
We sometimes are greedy creatures, and we always seem to have different ‘wants’, but thank the Lord that He gives us what we need.
Do you have this same confidence that David had?
We should not think however that this verse means that there will not be times of drought, valleys and needs.
(sometimes what we need is a valley experience)
The rest of this Psalm show that these valley experiences do occur. But the confidence David had is that the great shepherd will always know what we need and when to provide it.
Psalm 23:2-3 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters; he restores my soul.
He makes me…
He leads me
Jesus our Shepherd knows exactly what we need and He is the one that brings spiritual nourishment and rest for our souls.
Often we get into a trying situation and we rack our brains wondering how we can ever get out of it.
If this is you, then I truly believe this verse is true for you.
Jesus is the shepherd, not you, and He knows when to give you rest and refreshment, and where it will come from.
The verse says…
Lie down in green pastures… quiet waters
First he makes you lie down.
That is, Jesus arranges times of rest for you!
He also arranges times when you can feed off the greenest of green pastures.
This feeding is symbolic of being fed with the word of God. (Heb 5:12-14) Jesus also arranges the quiet waters, which speak of refreshment and revitalizing.
There are times, as the Psalm says, when He restores your soul spiritually.
They are quiet waters… times when there are no waves and no troubles.
And we thank God for such times!
Psalm 23:3 He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
The paths that the Shepherd takes us on are the righteous or ‘right’ paths. They will lead us to places of rest and provision.
Obviously this doesn’t mean that the road that the shepherd takes is always an easy one. But it is still the paths that lead to righteousness.
God’s eternal desire is that He would have many sons and daughters who display His glory and light within them.
It is expressed in Rom 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
So God will always lead us into that which is right and that which is true. It is for ‘His name’s sake’ that He does this.