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Who's Got My Back?

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1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
INTRODUCTION
The 23 Psalms is commonly referred to as “The Shepherd’s Psalm”, but it is not the “Shepherd’s Psalm. Although the shepherd is being praised, He does not speak one time in this great Psalm. A sheep does all of the talking in this Psalm, giving a word of testimony as to the goodness of his shepherd, listen to its testimony as he say, “The Lord Is My Shepherd.”
1. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As it Say The Lord:
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3a He restoreth my soul:.
The Sheep gives testimony that the Lord, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
A sheep is a dumb and stupid animal that chews the cud (this means that they eat so much, regurgitates, then chews it again).
The shepherd does not allows the sheep the freedom onto roam and eat at will, because He know that on their own they will eat too much and get indigestion,
The shepherd often separates the sheep in the pasture, by tapping each one with His staff and calling each one by name as he taps them. This tapping of the staff is a signal of authority and the sheep lie down in response to the tap.
The sheep are only allowed to eat the grass that is just around them This will provide them from being stuffed or getting indigestion due to their nature of eating. While laying down, they also rest. After a good meal, they are led to a small stream or overflowing spring and drink from still waters.
Now that their appetites have been satisfied and their thirst quenched, their whole being has been strengthened and refreshed. For the sheep gives “Testimony That The Lord Restoreth My Soul.” (or my whole being is restored).
How wonderful it is for our Shepherd to lead us into the “Green Pastures and Still Waters” of His Word.” He gives us only enough at each feeding for our strength to be renewed and for our growth so that we do not get “Spiritual Indigestion” or are carried about with every wind of doctrine. As Christian we need to learn to accept the “Authority of the Staff of God’s Word!”
In the Apostle Paul said;
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
2. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Says:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
In traveling from pasture to pasture, the Shepherd must lead their flocks over barren, sun- baked desert (wilderness). The shepherd must try to avoid the cracks in the soil so that the sheep want get their feet caught or break a leg. Yes, he must not lead them where their wool will be caught and snagged in the thorny brush.
The Shepherd must lead them in the “Right Path Way”, away from pitfalls and danger. This He must do “For His Name Sake”. The Shepherd desire is to present his “Flock” to the wool buyer at the marketplace “Without Spot and Without Blemish.”
If the Shepherd take good care of his sheep, he will maintain his reputation as a “Good Shepherd” and the buyer at the market do not even have to look at his flock. They will go by the shepherd’s name and give him the “Top Price.” This is why our Shepherd leads us in the “Path of Righteousness for His Name Sake.” It is His reputation that is at stake. The world judges Him by us. Oh how we need to “Hear His Voice and Follow Him!”
3. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Say The Lord:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Often times the flock must cross over a high mountain to get to another pasture. For centuries rock-hewn paths about two feet wide have been the only means of getting to the other side.
As shepherd slowly leads his flock upward into the mountains, often times to height of 750 to 1,000 feet above the valley. At these great heights they are always in view of the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” One slip of the foot and a sheep could fall and plunge into the “Valley of Death.” The shepherd talks continuously, with his sheep, assuring them that he is with them. Yes, the sheep can testify and say “For Thy Art With Me.”
We might find many dangers in our Christian pathway, but our Shepherd will always be there to aid and protect us from all harms danger!
4. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Say The Lord:
Psalms 234b
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
About halfway up the dangerous path the shepherd will stop and make His way back to the end of the trail to see that all is well. As he does this, he taps each sheep with his staff and call each by their name. This tap of the staff denotes a personal relationship between the shepherd and the sheep.
What a comforting though it must be knowing that our Shepherd knows us by name.. He assures us by the “Staff of His Word that we are in a personal relationship with Him.
If a sheep fall over the side of the path and is caught by brush. the shepherd will use his staff to rescue it Oh yes, this is a comforting thought knowing that the Lord will rescue us from all danger that we face.
If snakes come out of the rocks or if wild beast lurk nearby, the shepherd uses his rod for protection. Yes, the sheep can testify and say “Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me.”
What a source of comfort to know that as Christians we have the staff and the rod of His Word to help us resist our enemies that they may flee from us.
Sometimes the Staff is used to catch an unruly sheep as it tries to run from its shepherd. And the shepherd will use it as a “Rod of Correction or Discipline”.
While in disobedience we do not appreciate the staff of God’s Word correcting us, but what a comfort to know that we have our Shepherd’s cares and He will bring us back unto Himself when we back-slidden, even though He has to chasten us.
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
5. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Say The Lord:
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
There are many times when a wounded sheep must have special attention, and must be protected from the enemies. Ironically, the enemies in this case are not snakes or wild beasts, but the enemies are members of His our flock.
If a wounded sheep is left alone, the other sheep when smelling the blood, sensing the trouble, and because the wounded sheep has become motionless
They will come over to it, eat all of the grass around it, and will push and butt this afflicted sheep.
In a sense a “Well Sheep” become the enemies of the Sick Sheep”. This is true also in the “Chicken Family” a “Sick Chick” will be pecked to death by the “Well Chicken.
The shepherd marks off an area about 20X15 feet for the sick sheep and place his rod at one end, his staff at the other end, he takes his cloak and place in on one side, and then he lie down on the other side. This marked off area is known as the “Table” and it constitutes the “Table” prepared in the presence of his enemies.
When this “Table is lay out not one single sheep of the flock will dare cross over the rod or staff or the cloak or the shepherd to eat one blade of grass in this “Table.”
Far to often Christians become “Enemy” to a fallen brother or sister, by becoming critical, condemning, and sometime even ostracizing the wounded member of the flock. Many times the Lord. our Shepherd, comes to our rescue, and prepares a table in the presence of these enemies.
Oh how wonderful is would be if we as Christians would just show brotherly love and bear one another’s burdens.
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
6. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Say The Lord:
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
This is done many times because the oil has a cooling, soothing effect upon the sheep when they are in the blazing sun. A wounded, cut, blooding and bruised sheep is also anointed with oil for healing.
The oil is poured upon the cuts and bruises. Anointing with oil also denotes a personal relationship. A touch, a reward, which shows joy and satisfaction on the part of the shepherd for his sheep.
We often do this when we reward a dog with a biscuit or bone. How often do our Shepherd seek to reward us with His “Oil of Gladness.”
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
7. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Says:
5c My cup runneth over.
The “Cup” is a hallowed-out block of stone about 30 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches deep. Cups are located by many wells and springs scattered through the Judean wilderness. The shepherd scoops up water, pouring it into the cup. Because the cup has been in the blazing sun, he keeps pouring water in. overflowing the cup, until the cup is cooled. He then calls the sheep to drink, never stopping his pouring. He makes sure the water stays cool, and sees to it that the sheep have more than enough.
Even if the sheep back away to rest for a moment before drinking more, the good shepherd keeps the cup “Running Over” to make sure his sheep have flesh, running water.
Yes, the sheep can testify and say “My cup runneth over”. How wonderful our Shepherd is to give us “New Mercies every morning and benefits every day.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
8. Listen To The Testimony Of The Sheep As It Says:
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
As the sheep concludes its testimony, the expression “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Just as the shepherd has cared for the sheep in the past and is now doing also.
There is confidence that as long as the sheep lives nothing, but the shepherd goodness and mercy will follow them.
This is a reminder to all Christians that our Shepherd, The Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
CONCLUSION
Does a sheep live forever? No, But: forever to a sheep is a long as it lives.
Yes, just like many other pets do.
When Nathan reprimanded David for his sin, he gave a parable about a poor man who had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had brought and nourished up, and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and dank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him a daughter.
1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up:
and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
It is nothing for a Palestinian shepherd to take an orphaned lamb or purchase one and raise it up together with his family. It become unto his as a daughter. Oh what oneness there is between the “Shepherd and his pet Sheep!” The lamb have full run of the house and everywhere the shepherd goes, the lamb is sure to follow.
As Christians our Shepherd has bought us with the Shedding of His Precious Blood.
He has nourished us in His “Green Pastures.”
He has Protected us with the Rod and Staff of His Holy Word.
He had feed us with His meat and have sup with us.
Yes there is a oneness between the Shepherd and the Sheep.
The Good Shepherd of our Souls has given us the promise that His sheep will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Even right now He is preparing a place for us. and His Good and Mercy shall follow us all the days of our life.
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
If The Lord Is Your Shepherd You Will Have A Testimony As A Sheep. And You Will Be Able To Say That The Lord Give You:
A LIFE that can never be FORFEITED
A RELATIONSHIP that can never be ABOLISHED
A RIGHTEOUSNESS that can never be TARNISHED
A ACCEPTANCE that can never be QUESTIONED
A STANDING that can never be DISPUTED
A JUSTIFICATION that can never be REVERSED
A SEAL that can never be BROKEN
A INHERITANCE that can never be ALIENATED
A WEALTH that can never be DEPLETED
A POSSESSION that can never be MEASURED
A SALVATION that can never be ANNULLED
A FORGIVENESS that can never be RESCINDED
A GRACE that can never be ARRESTED
A STRENGTH that can never be WEAKENED
A ASSURANCE that can never be DISAPPOINTED
A ATTRACTION that can never be SUPERSEDED
A COMFORT that can never be LESSENED
A SERVICE that will always be REWARDED
A INTERCESSOR Who can never be DISQUALIFIED
A GLORY that will outshine the STARS forever
If The Lord Is Your Shepherd You Will Have A Testimony As A Sheep. And You Should Be Able To Say That The Lord‘s Goodness and Mercy Should Follow You All The Days Of Your Life.
The Lord... He Will Provide You With:
Light for Darkness
Forgiveness for Guilt
Life for Death
Righteousness for Unrighteoussness
Liberty for Bondage
Bread For Hunger
Water for Thirst
Satisfaction for Seasonal Pleasure of Sin
Hope for Despair
Peace for Tribulation
Joy for Sorrow Love for Hate
Saints for Worldly Friends
Armor for the Devil’s Attack
Heaven for Hell
A Body like Christ’s for a Vile Body
If The Lord Is Your Shepherd You Should Be Able To Testify That He Is:
Jehovah-raah: “The Lord my Shepherd”
Jehovah-jireh: “The Lord will provide” I shall not want
Jehovah-Shalom: “The Lord send peace” (quietness and rest) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: vs 2a
Jehovah-nakah: Isaiah 58:26 “The Lord will guide thee” He leadeth me beside the still waters: vs 2b
Jehovah-rophe: “The Lord that healeth He restoreth my soul: vs 3a
Jehovah tsidkenu: “The Lord is righteousness” He leadeth me in the paths of righteouness for His name’s sake vs 3b
Jehovoah-shammah: “The Lord is there”
Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear not evil, for thou art (there) with me vs 4a
Divine Father: “The God of all comfort” Thy rod and staff they comfort me ss 4b
Jehovah-saboath: “The Lord of Hosts” (housekeeper) Thou preparest a table before me vs 5a
The Lord the Anointing-One: “Thou anointest my head with oil vs 5b
Jehovah, the Lord, the Satisfying One : , My cup runneth over vs 5c
Jehovah-gemulah: “The Lord of Compense” His Goodness and Mercy shall follow me vs 6a
El Olam: “The everlasting God” And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever vs 6b
Amen, Amen, Amen
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