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Psalm 23 Study

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Psalm 23 Study

Psalm 23:1-3 “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.”


One thing you will notice about this Psalm when compared to others that are attributed to David, is that there is not one single complaint. All you find here are comforts and delights of God’s goodness and dependence upon Him.
The praises from David’s heart were not only due to providence experienced on the external, but the warm devotion that filled his soul with joy.
In Psalm 22, Christ is seen as dying for His sheep. Here we find him to be the Good Shepherd of His sheep.

Verse 1

“Lord” = Yahweh (Adonai)
“My shepherd” = the Lord is presently here to shepherd me.
Also, to be a friend and companion.
David has a very intimate vantage point.
He too has worked as a shepherd over his father’s sheep.
Quote: If God be as a shepherd to us, we must be as sheep, inoffensive, meek, and quiet, silent before the shearers, nay, and before the butcher too, useful and sociable; we must know the shepherd’s voice, and follow him.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 773). Peabody: Hendrickson.
“I shall not want” = to not have enough of what is needed.
The integrity of the Shepherd is indicative to the supply for the sheep.
Pastors especially need to pay attention here!!!
Quote: If I have not every thing I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me or I shall have it in due time.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 773). Peabody: Hendrickson.

Verse 2

“Maketh to lie down” = to cause to lie down
Sense = to cause to assume a reclining position; often with the implication of rest.
NOTICE — No condition or circumstance is attention to the promise of the Shepherd’s provision.
“Green pastures” = pastures of tender grass.
Suitable for grazing and dwelling
Psalm 65:12 “12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: And the little hills rejoice on every side.”
God’s Word should always be considered as green pastures.
“He leadeth” = To take or guide somewhere
Also implying a follower willing to be led.
Isa. 40:11 “11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with his arm, And carry them in his bosom, And shall gently lead those that are with young.”
Isa. 49:10 “10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; Neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: For he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, Even by the springs of water shall he guide them.”
Rev. 7:17 “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.”
Quote: Those that feed on God’s goodness must follow his direction; he leads them by his providence, by his word, by his Spirit, disposes of their affairs for the best, according to his counsel, disposes their affections and actions according to his command, directs their eye, their way, and their heart, into his love.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 773). Peabody: Hendrickson.
“Beside” = to be brought near or close too.
“Still” = Calmness without winds or waves.
Not speaking of a pool of water, but rather a calm flowing water.
The calm waters are now something the Shepherd must find. He provides them!
Sheep are incapable of finding good water on their own.
Mark 6:34 “34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”
Only the shepherd knows where the good water can be found.
He never sends them out on their own to find it!!!
Sometimes the best water is found in a dark cavern or at the base of a steep mountain.
Dark cavern = grief, affliction, etc...
Sheep shy away from anything that makes them vulnerable.
However, they follow their shepherd to the calm water because they trust him.
Reaching the good calm water often times requires a journey for the sheep.
The shepherd leads them every step of the way!

Verse 3

“Restoreth” = To bring back into original existence, use, function or position.
Denotes the impact of our world.
How does God work in “restoration?”
First, reprovement.
Second, repentance.
Third, He brings you back to your duty again.
What would happen without the work of restoration?
God may allow you to fall into sin, but He won’t permit you to lie in it!!!
“Soul” = The part of a person that thinks, feels ,wills and desires.
“Paths” = A course of conduct
Psalm 5:8 “8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; Make thy way straight before my face.”
Psalm 31:3 “3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; Therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.”
Psalm 139:10 “10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139:24 “24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 143:10 “10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: Thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”
“Righteousness” = Adherence to what is required according to a standard.
“Names sake” = reputation
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