The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
We serve a wonderful God. In this text, David tells us how wonderful our God is.
This is a favorite text of many. The text gives us hope in the face of fear. This text speaks of God’s care for the individual-the Lord is my shepherd.
This evening, we will examine this text and see how God acts as our shepherd.
God Provides, vv 1-2
The Lord, as David’s shepherd, provides. David shall not want. David shall lie down in green pastures. These green pastures will supply the sheep’s needs so that they need not be moved. In Palestine, fields will be green during the winder and spring, but in the summer and fall sheep must be led many places looking for food. David declares that with God he will never have to roam about looking for food. David shall be led beside still waters. These still waters are the wells and springs where the sheep can drink without being rushed. David says that he will be able to drink as much as he needs.
God would provide David’s every need.
God will provide for us. The children of Israel lacked nothing in the wilderness (Neh 9:21). We will lack nothing which we need. Matthew 6:31-33. Psalm 37:35. Both these texts say we must be pleasing to God to receive his care. This is not a health-and-wealth Gospel.
God Points, v 3
As a shepherd, God would lead David. David would be led in “paths of righteousness.” The idea of “paths of righteousness” are “right (correct) paths.” God would lead David in the correct way. God would do so for “his own names sake”-because of who God is.
God will lead us as well. Man cannot lead himself (Jer 10:23). God guides us through his Word. Psalm 119:9, 105.
God Protects, v 4
As a shepherd, God would protect David. Even though David would walk through “the valley of the shadow of death,” he would not be afraid. This would be the darkest part of the journey. Shepherds often led their sheep through valleys that were dark. David did not need to fear because God was with him. God’s rod and staff would comfort David. The rod was used by shepherds to protect the sheep from wild animals. The staff was used to keep the sheep together, to keep them from getting lost.
God will protect us as well through the shadow of death. The death of his saints is precious in God’s sight (Ps 116:15). Through Jesus, we have been released from the fear of death (Heb 2:14-15). Those who die in the Lord are blessed (Rev 14:13).
A son looked upon the body of his Christian father. The only words which could come to his mind were, “Dad, you won.”
We don’t have to look forward to death. We fear the unknown. But, we have the assurance that those of us in Christ will be protected by God and will not see hell.
Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, because he laid down his life for the sheep (Jn 10:11).
Will you give your life to the Good Shepherd and allow him to bless you?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.