Psalm 23 (April 25, 2011)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even 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 scup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 is one of the most famous Psalms in all of the Bible. Our time this week in this Psalm will be an incredible journey of comfort and strength as we look to our shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther, the great reformer said this about Psalm 23: “The other names sound somewhat too gloriously and majestically, and bring, as it were, an awe and fear with them, when we hear them uttered. This is the case when the Scriptures call God our Lord, King, Creator. This however, is not the case with the sweet word shepherd. It brings to the godly, when they read it or bear it, as it were a confidence, a consolation, or security like the word father.”

The Lord is the word YAHWEH, or God’s covenant-initiating, covenant-keeping God of the Old Testament, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and vowed to protect them, provide for them, care for them, feed them and guide them as their shepherd. David names the Lord as his shepherd. This is critical because he doesn’t just name God as the shepherd of Israel, he names him as his own shepherd. David, the shepherd-King of Israel, found himself to be under the care of the shepherd-King of the universe, King Jesus.

“If he be a shepherd to no one else, he is a shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. Whatever be the believer’s position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah.” -C.H. Spurgeon.

When David says, “I shall not want”, he says, initially, “I shall not want for anything,” or “I shall not lack”. The idea is that if I have the shepherd, I have all I need. Is that where you are today? When you look to Jesus, can you say with confidence that you have all that you need? John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”

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