Psalm 23:1

5 August 2018 PM – Psalm 23:1 – Ps23 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Multitudes love the 23rd Psalm, yet many have never taken a close look at what its details.

Transition: Tonight, I want us to begin a brief study through this Psalm to gain a better knowledge of what it actually teaches us.

1.        The LORD
a.         The LORD is Jehovah
1)         He is the self-existing One. He is eternal. He is the great I AM. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. (Colossians 1:17) “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
2)         Jesus is the LORD. Yes, Jesus is Jehovah. (Titus 2:13) “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
b.         The LORD is the greatest Shepherd
1)         Jehovah is an omnipotent Shepherd. He is almighty. He is stronger than any enemy that may try to attack me. (Job 42:2) “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.”
2)         Jehovah is an omniscient Shepherd. He knows when an enemy is approaching and exactly how to stop him. (Psalms 91:3) “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
3)         Jehovah is a caring Shepherd. He will never leave His sheep unprotected. (1 Peter 5:7) “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
4)         Jehovah is a faithful Shepherd; His sheep can trust Him explicitly. (1 Corinthians 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
5)         Jehovah is gracious Shepherd and His grace is always sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
6)         Jehovah is a trustworthy Shepherd who always keeps His word. (Numbers 23:19) “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
7)         Jehovah is an empathetic Shepherd. (Hebrews 4:14-15) “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
8)         Jehovah is a sovereign Shepherd. He only allows trials that are for His sheep’s good. (1 Peter 1:7) “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
2.        Is MY
a.         Personally
1)         To become one of God’s sheep, we must place our faith in Christ alone. If you have trusted Christ, you can personally say, the LORD is MY Shepherd. He purchased you as His own sheep with the price of His blood (1Pe 1:18-19).
2)         Charles Spurgeon once said, “No man has a right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature has been renewed, for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats.”
3)         Jesus knows His sheep personally. (John 10:27) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
b.         Presently
1)         It does not say, He will be or He was. It says, the LORD IS my Shepherd.
2)         Right this very minute, the LORD is your Shepherd.
c.          Permanently
1)         The LORD is continually our Shepherd, 24/7/365.
2)         He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
3.        Shepherd
a.         The LORD is not a hireling (or hired man)
1)         A hireling does not truly care for the sheep.
2)         He is simply doing a job for the pay.
b.         He is our Good Shepherd
1)         Jesus said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Think of it, the infinite God, the sovereign of the universes calls Himself my shepherd!
2)         Our Shepherd knows us. (John 10:14) “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”
3)         Our Shepherd seeks us when we go astray. (Luke 15:4) “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
4)         Our Shepherd gave his life for us. (John 10:15) “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
5)         Our Shepherd protects us. (John 10:27-28) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
4.        I shall not want
a.         My Shepherd knows what is best
1)         Someone wisely said, “The fear of ‘want’ is one of the most disturbing fiends of the human soul.”
2)         David had endured years of hardships while fleeing from Saul. Many Christians through the centuries have suffered poverty and hardships. We must remember that the Shepherd defines our “wants”. He has all wisdom. He knows what we need for maturity and dependence on Him. He determines what His sheep need and what is best for their physical and spiritual health and welfare. He promises to supply those wants not our desires. As sheep, we have no say in the matter.
3)         Commenting on “I shall not want”, J.O. Keen states, “This is no guarantee against poverty; because poverty may be, in the Divine estimation, better for us than riches. It is no warrant for indolence or thriftlessness. Work and diligence in it are again and again commended.”
4)         Yes, the LORD is able to provide our physical needs. (Psalms 34:10) “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].” However, this Psalm primarily pertains to our spiritual needs. The remainder of the Psalm speaks mostly about spiritual wants provided by the Shepherd.
b.         I will be content with my Shepherd’s care
1)         Phillip Keller in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, states, “A second emphasis is the idea of being utterly contented in the Good Shepherd’s care and consequently not craving or desiring anything more.”
2)         Keller describes a ewe he once owned that was an excellent mother and produced fine wool but she always wanted grass on the other side of the fence. She was never content with what the shepherd gave her. As God’s sheep, we must learn to be content with His provisions. We must trust God to know what is best for us.
3)         When the Apostle Paul prayed for deliverance of his thorn in the flesh and God said that deliverance was not what he needed, note how Paul responded. (2 Corinthians 12:9) “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul was content with God’s provision.
Conclusion: Is the LORD your Shepherd? Are you truly one of His sheep? If so, consider carefully the details of this Psalm. Picture as David did a literal shepherd out in the field with his sheep. Meditate on each word. Ponder their application to your life. Rest in their comfort. Thank God for being your caring Shepherd. Learn to be a contented sheep.

Song: Surely Goodness and Mercy 292