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I. THE SHEPHERD'S PROVISION (23:1-3)

A. NO LACK OF PHYSICAL NECESSITIES (1-2)

1. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (cf. Lk 12:22-32)

Luke 12:22–32 KJV 1900
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

2. He makes me to lie down in green pastures

3. He leads me beside the still waters (cf. Re 7:17)

Revelation 7:17 KJV 1900
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

B. NO LACK OF SPIRITUAL NECESSITIES (3)

1. He restores my soul (cf. Re 3:19)

Revelation 3:19 KJV 1900
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

2. He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name's sake (cf. 1Co 10:13)

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV 1900
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.

II. THE SHEPHERD'S PROTECTION (23:4-5)

A. THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH (4)

1. I will fear no evil, for He is with me (cf. He 13:5-6)

Hebrews 13:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

2. His rod and staff comfort me (cf. He 12:5-11)

Hebrews 12:5–11 KJV 1900
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
B. IN THE PRESENCE OF ENEMIES (5)
1. He prepares a table before me in their presence (cf. Jn 16:33)
2. He anoints my head with oil, my cup runs over (cf. Ep 3:20)

III. THE SHEPHERD'S PRESERVATION (23:6)

A. ALL THE DAYS OF ONE'S LIFE (6a)

1. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

2. All the days of my life (cf. 2Ti 4:18)

2 Timothy 4:18 KJV 1900
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

B. FOREVER (6b)

1. I will dwell in the house of the Lord

2. Forever (cf. Jn 14:1-3)

John 14:1–3 KJV 1900
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.

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE PSALM

1) What are the main points of this psalm? - The Shepherd's provision (1-3)

- The Shepherd's protection (4-5)

- The Shepherd's preservation (6)

2) Who is the author of the psalm? - David

3) What is the main figure used in this psalm?

The main idea?

(1) - The Lord is my shepherd - I shall not want (lack anything)

4) How does David illustrate the physical necessities provided by the Lord?

(2) - The Lord makes him to lie down in green pastures - The Lord leads him besides the still waters

5) How does David describe the spiritual necessities provided by the Lord?

(3) - The Lord restores his soul - The Lord leads him in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake

6) What protection or comfort does the Lord provide when one walks through the valley of the shadow of death?

(4) - The comfort of His presence - His comfort of His rod and staff

7) What provisions does the Lord furnish in the presence of one's enemies?

(5) - He prepares a table - He anoints one's head with oil - He provides a cup which runs over

8) What does the Lord provide to ensure that He will preserve us in this life?

(6) - Goodness and mercy all the days of our life

9) What wonderful hope do we have for eternity?

(6) - To dwell in the house of the Lord forever

LET US BEGIN THE MESSAGE HERE:-

The psalm has always been regarded as one of exquisite beauty.

The main subject is the watchful care which God had extended over the author, and the consequent assurance which he felt that God would still watch over him, and supply all his need.

The leading thought - the essential idea - is, his full belief that God would provide for him, and that he would never be left to want.

This is the thought with which the psalm commences: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want:” and this thought is carried through the psalm.

It is illustrated by two facts or images:

(a) That God was his shepherd; that He had always manifested toward him (David) the care which a shepherd takes of his flock, Psalms 23:1-3; and

Psalm 23:1–3 KJV 1900
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.

(b) That God had prepared a table before him (David) in the very presence of his enemies, or that he had abundantly led for him in their very sight, when they were endeavoring to destroy him - thus giving him the assurance that God never would leave him, Psalms 23:5.

Psalm 23:5 KJV 1900
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

The psalm, therefore, may be regarded as consisting of two main parts:

I. The general subject of the psalm - the confidence of the author in God - the assurance that he would always so provide for him that he would not want, Psalms 23:1.

II. The grounds or reasons for this confidence, Psalms 23:2-6. These are twofold:

(1) An argument derived from the care of God over him as a shepherd, Psalms 23:2-4.

Psalm 23:2–4 KJV 1900
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.

(a) The statement of the fact, Psalms 23:2-3.

Psalm 23:2–3 KJV 1900
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.

(b) The argument, Psalms 23:4. From his experience of the divine care in the past, he says that he would not be afraid even to descend into the valley of death.

Psalm 23:4 KJV 1900
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.

(2) an argument derived from the fact that God had provided for him in the very presence of his enemies,Psalms 23:5-6; Psalms 23:5-6.

Psalm 23:5–6 KJV 1900
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.
Psalm 23:5–6 KJV 1900
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.

(a) The statement of the fact; or a reference to his life, during which God had shown the same care and goodness as if He had spread a table for him even in the sight of his enemies, Psalms 23:5.

Psalm 23:5 KJV 1900
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

(b) The confident assurance, derived from that fact, that God would follow him with goodness and mercy all the days of his life; that his future course would be as if he were always to dwell in the house of the Lord, Psalms 23:6.

Psalm 23:6 KJV 1900
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.
Verse 1

Sadly, we usually only hear it read at funerals. Many Scriptures allude to the shepherd/sheep analogy to describe God’s relationship with His people.

Prominent shepherds in the Bible include Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Laban, Moses, Jethro, and David. Oh, and there’s one more we can’t forget—JESUS! “I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11).

John 10:11 KJV 1900
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Psalms 23 starts with a name of God, “The LORD is my Shepherd.”

What does it mean that the Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23)?

The clause “the Lord is my shepherd” comes from one of the most beloved of all passages of Scripture, the 23rd Psalm.

In this passage and throughout the New Testament we learn that the Lord is our Shepherd in two ways.

First, as the Good Shepherd, He laid down His life for His sheep and,

second, His sheep know His voice and follow Him (John 10:11, 14).

John 10:11 KJV 1900
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 KJV 1900
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

In Psalm 23, God is using the analogy of sheep and their nature to describe us.

Psalm 23 KJV 1900
A Psalm of David. 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.

Sheep have a natural tendency to wander off and get lost.

As believers, we tend to do the same thing.

It’s as Isaiah has said: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

Isaiah 53:6 KJV 1900
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

When sheep go astray, they are in danger of getting lost, being attacked, even killing themselves by drowning or falling off cliffs. Likewise, within our own nature there is a strong tendency to go astray (Romans 7:5; 8:8), following the lusts of our flesh and eyes and pursuing the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

Romans 7:5 KJV 1900
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Romans 8:8 KJV 1900
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
1 John 2:16 KJV 1900
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

As such, we are like sheep wandering away from the Shepherd through our own futile self-remedies and attempts at self-righteousness. It is our nature to drift away (Hebrews 2:1), to reject God, and to break His commandments.

Hebrews 2:1 KJV 1900
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

When we do this, we run the risk of getting lost, even forgetting the way back to God.

Furthermore, when we turn away from the Lord, we soon find ourselves confronting one enemy after another who will attack us in numerous ways. Sheep are basically helpless creatures who cannot survive long without a shepherd, upon whose care they are totally dependent.

Likewise, like sheep, we are totally dependent upon the Lord to shepherd, protect, and care for us.

Sheep are essentially dumb animals that do not learn well and are extremely difficult to train.

They do not have good eyesight, nor do they hear well.

They are very slow animals who cannot escape predators; they have no camouflage and no weapons for defense such as claws, sharp hooves, or powerful jaws. Furthermore, sheep are easily frightened and become easily confused.

In fact, they have been known to plunge blindly off a cliff following one after another.

Shepherds in Bible times faced incredible dangers in caring for their sheep, putting their own lives at risk by battling wild animals such as wolves and lions who threatened the flock.

David was just such a shepherd (1 Samuel 17:34–35).

1 Samuel 17:34–35 KJV 1900
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.

In order to be good shepherds, they had to be willing to lay down their lives for the sheep. Jesus declared that He is our Shepherd and demonstrated it by giving His life for us.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Matthew 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Through His willing sacrifice, the Lord made salvation possible for all who come to Him in faith (John 3:16).

John 3:16 KJV 1900
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In proclaiming that He is the good shepherd, Jesus speaks of “laying down” His life for His sheep (John 10:15, 17–18). Like sheep, we, too, need a shepherd.

John 10:15 KJV 1900
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:17–18 KJV 1900
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Men are spiritually blind and lost in their sin.

This is why Jesus spoke of the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4–6).

Luke 15:4–6 KJV 1900
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? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us. He searches for us when we’re lost, to save us and to show us the way to eternal life (Luke 19:10).

Luke 19:10 KJV 1900
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

We tend to be like sheep, consumed with worry and fear, following after one another.

By not following or listening to the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:27), we can be easily led astray by others to our own destruction.

John 10:27 KJV 1900
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, warns those who do not believe and listen to Him: “I did tell you, but you do not believe . . . you do not believe because you are not my sheep.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:25–28). Psalm 23:1–3 tells us that the shepherd meets the sheep’s every need: food, water, rest, safety, and direction.

John 10:25–28 KJV 1900
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Psalm 23:1–3 KJV 1900
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.

When we as believers follow our Shepherd, we, too, know that we will have all we need.

We will not lack the necessities of life, for He knows exactly what we need (Luke 12:22–30). Sheep will not lie down when they are hungry, nor will they drink from fast-flowing streams.

Luke 12:22–30 KJV 1900
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

Sometimes the shepherd will temporarily dam up a stream so the sheep can quench their thirst.

Psalm 23:2 speaks of leading the sheep “beside the quiet [stilled] waters.”

Psalm 23:2 KJV 1900
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

The shepherd must lead his sheep because they cannot be driven.

Instead, the sheep hear the voice of their shepherd and follow him—just as we listen to our Shepherd, Jesus Christ—in His Word and follow Him (John 10:3–5, 16, 27).

John 10:3–5 KJV 1900
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
John 10:16 KJV 1900
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
John 10:27 KJV 1900
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And if a sheep does wander off, the shepherd will leave the flock in charge of his helpers and search for the lost animal (Matthew 9:36; 18:12–14; Luke 15:3–7). In Psalm 23:3, the Hebrew word translated “paths” means “well-worn paths or ruts.”

Matthew 9:36 KJV 1900
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 18:12–14 KJV 1900
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Luke 15:3–7 KJV 1900
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 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? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Psalm 23:3 KJV 1900
3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

In other words, when sheep wander onto a new path, they start to explore it, which invariably leads them into trouble.

This passage is closely akin to the warning in Hebrews 13:9: “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.”

Hebrews 13:9 KJV 1900
9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

The apostle Paul also alludes to this idea in Ephesians 4:14. Finally, the shepherd cares for the sheep because he loves them and wants to maintain his own good reputation as a faithful shepherd.

Ephesians 4:14 KJV 1900
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;

As we’ve seen in Psalm 23, the analogy of the Lord as the Good Shepherd was also applied by Jesus in John chapter 10.

Psalm 23 KJV 1900
A Psalm of David. 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.

In declaring that He is the shepherd of the sheep, Jesus is confirming that He is God.

The Eternal God is our Shepherd. And we would not want it any other way.

John 10:11 KJV 1900
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 KJV 1900
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
John 10:11 KJV 1900
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 KJV 1900
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Psalm 23 KJV 1900
A Psalm of David. 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.

LET US CONTINUE THE MESSAGE

Notice it’s in all caps. In Hebrew, it’s YHWH. In English, we say Jehovah or Yahweh.

This is rendered LORD thousands of times in the Old Testament.

Jews believed the name of God was too sacred to be spoken.

So, they put it in a form that cannot be pronounced.

When they wrote it, they removed the vowels (YHWH).

Jehovah or Yahweh means the self-existent, eternal One!

There’s a big difference between a lord and a savior.

Most people want a savior to rescue them from hell, but few want a lord to change their lifestyle.

A lord is “a person who has authority, control, or power over others, a master, chief, or ruler.”

If the Lord truly is our Shepherd, then we must yield to His Lordship to stay under His canopy of blessing.

By nature, sheep are helpless creatures. They are totally reliant on a shepherd to lead them to clean water, green pastures, and protect them from predators.

They don’t have claws or fangs to defend themselves plus they run clumsily.

Sheep provide the perfect analogy of how much we need God (Ps. 95:7, 100:3).

Psalm 95:7 KJV 1900
7 For he is our God; And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Psalm 100:3 KJV 1900
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Consider seven benefits we as sheep receive from our heavenly Shepherd:

A. Provision—I shall not want (lack).

This reveals another name of God—Jehovah-Jireh—the Lord my Provider.

He won’t finance all our wants, but He promised to supply all our needs! (Phil. 4:19)

Philippians 4:19 KJV 1900
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

B. Direction — He leads me beside the still waters. He leads me in paths of righteousness. Sheep must be led, or they will wander into trouble.

Sheep need to drink from still waters.

Swift currents are dangerous because, when their fleece absorbs water, sheep become top heavy and can get swept off their feet and drown.

God gives us clear direction by the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth (Jn. 16:13).

John 16:13 KJV 1900
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

C• Restoration — He restores my soul.

The Hebrew word translated “restores” here means “to turn back, to retreat, withdraw, refresh, or recover.”

We are not designed to go wide open all the time. Sometimes, we need to step back, rest, and be refreshed in His presence. Restoration comes by spending time with the Shepherd.

D• Protection — I will fear no evil: for You are with me.

This describes a hedge of divine protection. Jesus declared, “I am the door” (Jn. 10:9).

John 10:9 KJV 1900
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

In Bible times, a sheepfold was just a simple stone enclosure with an opening.

At night, the shepherd laid down in the opening and served as a human door.

No wolf could get in unless it climbed over him and no sheep could get out unless it climbed over him.

Jesus is our Shepherd/Door who keeps us safely in His fold.

E• Correction — Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.

The staff was a walking stick with a crook used to retrieve wayward lambs.

The rod was a club used to fend off predators.

If a sheep strayed habitually, the club might be used to break its leg for its own good.

Then the shepherd would carry that sheep and nurse it back to health.

A problem in church and society is few accept correction without getting offended.

Correction is a vital part of spiritual growth (Heb. 12:5-11).

Hebrews 12:5–11 KJV 1900
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

F• Prevention — You anoint my head with oil.

Shepherds anointed sheep’s heads with oil for two reasons:

1. to prevent sunstroke

2. to prevent parasites.

The oil ran into the crevices around the sheep’s ears, eyes, and nose to repel flies, fleas, and other parasites that could make it sick and even die.

The Holy Spirit’s anointing keeps us from being scorched by tribulation and repels negative and demonic influences that try to attack us. G• Abundance — My cup runs over.

If we stay close the Shepherd, He will bless us abundantly.

“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32).

Luke 12:32 KJV 1900
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

He is El Shaddi—“the all-sufficient one.”

He’s not the God of barely enough; He’s the God who is more than enough!

The Shepherd can turn your shortage into a surplus.

Take time to re-read the 23rd Psalm and let the Shepherd speak to you for Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.”

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