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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 23’

Psalm 23 is a well-known and well-loved Psalm. It is perhaps the most well-known of the psalms, often quoted at funerals. But Psalm 23 is not a psalm of death, it is Psalm that speaks of the abundant life of a believer–life with The Good Shepherd.

What makes Him the Good Shepherd? Consider what He does according to Psalm 23:1-3:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

My Shepherd removes my want and provides completely for me. He gives me a place to rest where there is food and water available to me.

He cares for my eternal nature–my soul–as well. He alone can restore my soul and make me whole. My soul was once far from God. Even now, my soul is often discouraged, but it seeks after its Maker.

He also is a leader, mentor and coach taking me forward in sanctification, leading me down paths of righteousness. He teaches me about Him and about me. He teaches me to walk worthy, instructing me about our relationship, and leading me through our relationship. These things He does for His name’s sake, to fulfill His promises.

But as we see in Psalm 23:4-5, this life with the Shepherd is not a life of ease or without trials:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

I will face trouble in this life. But my Shepherd is always with me. He never leaves me. He promises to be my companion through the dark times, times in the valley where death hovers near, menacing and threatening me. But I am not afraid because He uses His rod and staff to guide me and keep me on the narrow path that leads to life. His prodding and correction remind me that He is near.

He feeds me even when my enemies are near. He is not intimidated by them and let’s nothing interfere with our fellowship. They will not prevail over me.

My shepherd tenderly cares for me, anointing my head with oil to keep the pests from me, to sooth me and calm me. Life with My Shepherd is so full.

I can’t but proclaim as David did in Psalm 23:6:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I have no concerns now or for eternity. Blessed by the name of the LORD!

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What does a Shepherd do?

What does a Shepherd do?

The image of the shepherd is found throughout the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. The most well-known place is probably psalm is Psalm 23, which reflects on the shepherd and what he does for the sheep.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads 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 You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs 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 Forever.

What does the shepherd do according to verse 1 of Psalm 23?

He removes my want. How does He do that? He provides. One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.

He provides simple things like food and shelter–a job, a place to live, a car. But he also provides intangibles like comfort, companionship, and peace.

A beautiful picture is painted for us in Isaiah 40:11 where Isaiah tells us “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.”

There is nothing the shepherd will not give for his sheep even his life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11

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