Who’s Your Shepherd? Reflections on Psalm 23
Four Human Freedoms
Psalm 23 1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 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 have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Keys to the Passage: a psalm of David
“The Lord……” Jehovah…the God of covenant “….my shepherd” No one has the right to consider the Lord his shepherd unless --- he has, by faith, received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life. Unconverted people are never referred to as “sheep”; they are called “goats”!
Five Spiritual Freedoms
Freedom from want. (Verses 1-2) God has promised to meet “all” of our needs. “lie down in … green pastures” “…still waters” Sheep will not drink from rushing or turbulent water.
2. Freedom from Depletion
“He restores my soul” Physically & Spiritually Isaiah 40:31 When our soul becomes overcome with sorrow: He encourages & revives us. When our spirit becomes weary and weak: He energizes & renews us. “He guides me in the paths of righteousness”
3. Freedom from Fear “…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” A “shadow” has never killed anyone His “presence” enables us to live in freedom from fear “Your rod and Your staff,” Your rod: used to correct & protect Your staff: used to guide & lift out of danger
4. Freedom from Hurry & Worry
We are “anointed” and our “cup overflows”. Shepherds often carried oil which to “anoint” scratches on the face of the sheep. Anointing = = Healing & the Holy Spirit Our “cup” will continually overflow
5. Freedom from Abandonment & Desertion
“….I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5c, “Surely goodness and mercy…..” “..shall follow me” Literally: to pursue “…the house of the Lord forever” Continually in Divine Presence and having constant “communion with Him”.
….now and always! Whether it be: “resting in green pastures,
drinking from still waters, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, or in the presence of our enemies God is there with us…… ….now and always!
The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.
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