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Psalm 23

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The Lord is my Shepherd

Psalm 23

Introduction:

One of most loved chapters in the Bible

Read at most funerals and often when sick, etc.

What most encourages you about this chapter.

David focuses on the Lord as his Shepherd

            *What do we know about a shepherd?

            *Many references in Scripture to God as a Shepherd

            *Most well known is John 10:11-16

Tonight I want to look at

1.      What the Shepherd does

2.      What the sheep has

I.                   What the Shepherd does vv. 1-3

1.      He makes me to lie down in green pastures

1)      Has the idea of rest

2)      Has the idea of needs being met

Both of these ideas go very well together

We can rest knowing that our needs are met in the Lord

How often do people run themselves ragged today trying to meet their perceived needs?

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2.      He leads me beside the still waters

Again speaks of needs being met but also of refreshment

Couldn’t help but think if John 4:7-14

7A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” 13Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

3.      He restores my soul

Could mean two things:

1)      A renewal of strength when worn down

2)      A restoration when going astray

                        I tend to think that in the context of a shepherd it has to do with restoration

Matthew 15:24

But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 18:11-14

11For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

4.      He leads me in the paths of righteousness

Shepherd leads in the right path:  In contrast to going astray

II.                 What the sheep have as a result of what the shepherd does

1.      He has contentment v. 1

We talked before about the fact that a lack of contentment

There is satisfaction in the Lord and His provision

I think this is one of the greatest blessings of the Christian life.  It is the one area of the Christian life that can not be faked!!

How much it must hurt the Lord when we are not content in His provision.

§         Everyone often thinks they will be content with just a little more

§         Movie Cool Runnings is about the first Jamaican bobsled team.  They find a coach and then make it to the Olympics.  While there they find out that there coach had been disqualified in past Olympics for cheating.  When asked why he did it he replied “I had to win.”  Then he added that he had learned something, “If you are not happy without a gold metal, you won’t be with one either.”

2.      He has peace v. 4

I walk (be) anywhere because the Shepherd is with me

I am following His leading and His paths

What great peace there is today in knowing that He is with us continually

Any time we ask people to share God’s promises one of the first one shared is that of God’s presence

3.      He has security vv. 5-6

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