Faithlife Sermons

Psalm 23

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 14 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Psalm 23 – Our Shepherd Cares For Us

Psalm 23 (KJV)

1 A Psalm of David. 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.

-        These familiar words were written by David, who, by trade, was a shepherd. This beautiful Psalm was written by someone who knew about being a shepherd, and knew about sheep.

-         

-        Very often in the Bible, God uses the illustration of Him being our Shepherd and of us being the sheep.

-         

-        It is by no accident that He has chosen this funny creature to compare us to. Sheep are by far some of the most unintelligent, easily frightened, prone to stray off animals in the world.

-         

-        God, in His great wisdom, chose sheep, to help us come to an understanding of His great love for us.

-         

-        Charles Spurgeon says of this text “This is the pearl of Psalms whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye; Of this delightful song it may be affirmed that its piety and its poetry are equal, its sweetness and its spirituality are unsurpassed.”

-         

-        This Psalm falls right after Psalm 22 which begins “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?”

-         

-        Psalm 22 pictures the Shepherd dying for His sheep – Psalm 23 shows the Great Shepherd caring for His sheep and Psalm 24 shows the Chief Shepherd coming for His sheep!

-         

-        It is very fitting that the Holy Spirit placed this Psalm right after the prophetic picture of the Crucifixion we see in Psalm 22 –

-        In other words, Christ died for us (past), Christ lives for us (present), and Christ will come for us (future).

-         

-        From being sacrificed as an offering to purchase us with His precious blood the sacrificial Lamb becomes the Great Shepherd!

-         

-        I thought that we would go verse by verse through this Psalm, and see how our lives compare to those of a sheep and a shepherd. More importantly, to learn how much our Great Shepherd loves us, and cares for us.

1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

-        Sheep are some of the most finicky, hard to care for animals in the world. They need constant care and protection or they will not make it.

-         

-        The shepherd is always having to check his flock for all kinds of different bugs and injuries and guard them from many different predators.

-         

-        To make sure that they always have fresh grass to graze on he is always searching for the best pastures and when he finds them, he slowly and carefully leads his sheep to them.

-         

-        It is the same with us if we truly believe that “The Lord is my Shepherd”. Are we really content with what He has given us…you know...the “I shall not want” part?

-        I don’t think that what this is referring to is material possessions. I think this is referring to our relationship with the Lord.

-         

-        His goal for our lives is to trust fully in Him, and want nothing more. Most all of us fall really short of that goal.

-         

-        We get carried away and want so many things, nice cars, nice houses and the list goes on and on.

-         

-         In this short life and short time that we are here on earth our goals should be heavenly and they should be geared towards pleasing God.

-         

-        Only when we have this kind of perspective will we truly be able to say, “I shall not want”

2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

-        Sheep, in order to rest, require four things in order for them to be able to lie down. Because of just how they are they require 1) that they be free from all fear 2) they must not be afraid of any other more dominant sheep in the flock 3) they have to be free from pest like flies and parasites because these torment the sheep and 4) they have to be free from hunger.

-         

-        Sheep are so easily frightened. A wild jackrabbit running through a field can stampede the whole flock. If the water source is running too fast they would rather die of thirst than risk their lives taking a drink.

-         

-         If they even think that there is a predator in the area they will not rest at all, they just stand there, scared for their lives.

-         

-        The shepherd is always looking out for them and as the sheep learn to trust to him, just the very sight of the shepherd is enough to calm the whole flock.

-        This is how it should be for us. Just the very knowledge of the presence of God and the promises that He has made to us to never forsake us should be a great comfort to us.

-         

-        The fact that He is our heavenly Father and loves us and promises to never give us more than what we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13) should be rest for our souls.

-         

-        God’s word says that we aren’t supposed to worry about anything (Philippians 4:6) yet, we so quickly get caught in the vicious circle of worry and stress, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

-        Anyone familiar with sheep will no doubt know what happens when a sheep becomes “cast” or “cast down”. They will fall over and just lie there, unable to right themselves. It is a pathetic sight, to see a poor sheep on his back kicking his legs. If the shepherd does not quickly find the sheep and help him back on his feet, he will die. Constant threats from predators such as vultures, dogs, coyotes, who love to make a quick meal out of this easy target.

-         

-        How true this is for us too. So many times in our lives we get ourselves into situations and we feel like these poor sheep on their backs with their legs kicking.

-         

-        We feel so helpless and lost, like there is no way out. We feel like we have let down all of our family, our loved ones, our friends and God.

-         

-        No matter how much we tell ourselves there will be no more next time, and really mean it, we just end up there again and the circle just goes on and on. This makes us depressed and many even think about suicide thinking that will be a quick answer. We must take comfort in knowing that our heavenly Father loves us and cares for us.

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 good shepherd is always counting his flock. He makes sure that all the sheep are accounted for and if there is any discrepancy in number he quickly goes to find out what has happened to the one who is lost. When he finds the sheep who is cast, he helps it up and it returns to the flock.

-         

-        The shepherd’s rod was a useful tool that he would use to pull lost sheep out of thorn bushes and crevices to which they would venture.

-         

-        The sheep and the shepherd would form a bond that was so close that multiple shepherds could corral their sheep together and when it was time to go the shepherd could call and only his sheep would leave the bunch and follow.

-         

-        That is how we need to be as well. We need to hear our Shepherd’s voice and follow when He calls us and not listen to the voice of others!

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

-        At the end of the day, the shepherd leads the flock back to the fold and stands by the open door to examine each one as it enters.

-         

-        If he sees one that is bruised or weary, he puts the refreshing oil upon it to soothe and heal it, and gives it a drink of cool water.

-         

-        How gracious our Shepherd is to care for us!

-         

-        Each of the OT names for God is seen in this psalm:

-         

-        Jehovah-Jireh, “The Lord will provide” (Gen. 22:13–14);

-         

-        Jehovah-Rapha, “The Lord will heal or restore” (Ex. 15:26);

-         

-        Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord our peace” (Jud. 6:24);

-         

-        Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness,” (Jer. 23:6);

-        Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is there,” (Ezek. 48:35);

-         

-        Jehovah-Nissi, “The Lord our banner” (Ex. 17:8–15); and

-         

-        Jehovah-Raah, “The Lord my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1). In other words, Jesus Christ is to His sheep all that they ever need.

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 the New Testament we find that Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd and if you are trusting in Him today for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life then you are His sheep, you belong to Him.

-         

-        He said in John 10:14 “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me”.

-         

-        If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior there is nothing that can take that away. NOTHING!

-         

-        Perhaps today you feel like a “cast” sheep. In this journey we call life maybe you feel like one of those sheep who is on his back, feet kicking in the air and there may seem like there is no way out.

-         

-        For many of you who already knew the Lord the Shepherd came and rescued you and brought you back to here.

-         

-        You can rest on the promise from the Good Shepherd, that He knows you, and loves you, and will always welcome you back in His loving arms.

Psalm 23 (The Message)
1 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
2 You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.
3 True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NASB95)
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Introduction

Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.

Heading 2

Text with an outline.

  • Level 1
    • Level 2
    • Level 2
      • Level 3
Related Media
Related Sermons