Psalm 23 Part 1

The shepherd takes care of His sheep

The shepherd takes care of His sheep

Let’s take a look at Psalm 23 and how we can apply it to our lives.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

A shepherd is very different from a sheep herder. A sheep herder goes along behind the sheep and chases them while herding them in the direction he wants them to go. The sheep in this case do not always end up where the sheep herder wants them to go. It can also be quite a process to get the sheep to go where they need to be. A shepherd is much different. He leads the sheep and they follow him. They know his voice and they follow because of relationship with the shepherd.

When I think of the Lord being my shepherd and that I will not want, I get a very clear picture of a gracious and kind Shepherd speaking in a gentle tone as I follow His voice. My Lord guides me with love and patience.

What a beautiful word picture of how the Lord leads us. He doesn’t run behind us prodding us with a stick and yelling. He leads from the front clearing the path ahead of us. We truly will not want when we are following the Lord’s voice.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

Think of the difference between a green pasture and a pasture that is dried up and brown. Which pasture do you think the sheep will want to be in?  I guarantee the sheep prefer the green pasture to the brown. Green=food!

What about the water source mentioned here? The opposite of quiet waters is turbulent and troubled waters. Sheep prefer a source of water that is not churning and overflowing. A turbulent source of water may be dangerous to the sheep who often do not know what is best for them.

This speaks right to my heart telling me that the Lord will provide for my needs. Not only will I not want but I will be surrounded with what I need in abundance. This is not talking about a slight parcel of green pasture or a small puddle of sweet, quiet water. In my mind this is a huge open pasture and a peaceful stream of calm flowing water. There will be no stampede or fight to get to either one for they are in abundance. So too will be my life. It will be filled with abundance with God’s rich blessings!

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

What a wonderful promise! In order for a soul to be restored there has to be a loss or damage of some kind. To restore something is to bring something back to its healthy and normal state. Most of us have experienced events that caused damage to our inner man. Some of us feel very broken by life. He promises her to restore my soul to its proper function. In Him I am not longer broken or wounded.

Then He says He will guide me in the way I should go. The paths of righteousness is talking about walking and living according to His plan and purpose. He is a Holy God and through Christ we can walk the path of righteousness that He desires for our lives, fully healed and restored! That is good news!

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