The Lord is My Shepherd
March 29, 2020
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Series:
Passage: Psalms 23
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We live in a time of fear. People are afraid. Just look at the shelves on at Walmart. Panic buying has set in. The panic that is out there has created a sense of fear. There is no greater source of comfort than to look at the word of God. And, especially in the word of God there is no greater source of comfort than the Psalms.

We live in a world where people are afraid. The reason that people are so afraid is because they have no shepherd. So many people are like the ones in  Matthew 9:36, and He, Jesus, had compassion on the people, who were like sheep with no shepherd. And, we see and know that Christ came as the good shepherd. 

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

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

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

— Psalm 23

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most beloved passages in all of the Bible. It is one of those characteristic Bible passages in which so much is said with the fewest possible words. There are only 118 words in this Psalm. Yet, it is brimmed with eternal significance. The psalm is loved and appreciated by the young and old alike. It has brought hope to the hopeless, comfort to the sorrowful, and has shed a halo of glory over the beds of the sick and dying. It is so beautiful it's called the nightingale song.

It may be possible that David was sitting by an open window, looking out over the pasture. In, Psalms 39:3, he perhaps was thinking over his life as a shepherd and how he had killed a lion and a bear and realizing that someone was looking over him.

The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is not just a shepherd, but He is MY Shepherd. If we can truly say that the Lord is MY Shepherd it solves so many problems in life. That gives us comfort, and hope in times of sorrow, such as we are experiencing now.

The question is, do you know the Shepherd? The phrase means we have assurance. It means we have perfect assurance of hope.

  • Hebrews 6:11

This is right after the passage talking about the sure anchor. We have a sure anchor of hope. The psalmist doesn't say that he hopes the Lord is his shepherd. He knows that He is his Shepherd.

  • 1 John 2:3-4

We can know that we know him because we are doing His will. We are keeping His commandments.

  • John 10:4

He is that true Shepherd,

  • John 10:14

We can know that we know him when we keep His commandments. And, He knows us.

The Lord is My Shepherd; I Shall Not Want

  • 2 Timothy 1:12

So the Lord is MY Shepherd. David says that he shall not want because the Lord is his Shepherd and He supplies all of his need. There is nothing that I need that is not available. He supplies all of our need.

  • Psalms 34:9-10
  • Psalms 84:11
  • Matthew 6:33

After talking about the need for food, clothing, and shelter, He says he provides for the animals and we are more valuable than they, but we are to seek Him first, and He provides all these things.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

The Lord is My Shepherd; He Maketh me to Lie Down

Psalm 23:2

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. I shall not want for rest. The thing about sheep is that they begin to feed early in the morning just as the sun begins to come up. They feed until about mid morning when the shepherd makes them to lie down to digest their food. To drink water before they digest their food it would be disastrous.

This is the picture of great contentment. In the same fashion, the Good Shepherd makes us to lie down in comfort having want of nothing.

  • Philippians 4:6-8

The idea of being careful for nothing is to not worry about anything. Vs. 7, "And, the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." We have that protection.

When you think about what Paul endured, all that he suffered. He could have dwelt on those things, but he didn't. He says to think of the things that are pure.

During this time, use the time that you have to think on and pray over the things of God.

  • Isaiah 26:3

His mind is staid, and he trusts in God. There will be perfect peace, peace of mind. A stillness and quietness of soul.

The Lord is My Shepherd; He Leads Beside Still Waters

PSALMS 23:2

Thinking of sheep, before it is sheered has a thick heavy coat. Think of wearing a wool jacket or woolen socks, and how it gets heavy when it is wet. If a sheep were to fall into water it would be disastrous, it would be weighed down. The sheep could not swim. The wise and good shepherd leads them to quiet and still waters. The Lord who is our Shepherd leads us to peace and quietness when there is chaos and disorder all around us.

  • Matthew 5:6

The Lord will give us that rest, that peace if we will put our trust in Him.

  • Hebrews 13:5-6

He leadeth ME besides still waters. That is the personal relationship we have with the Shepherd.

  • Psalms 73:24
  • John 10:3-4

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, he maketh me to lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.

The Lord is My Shepherd; He Restoreth My Soul

PSALMS 23:3

David was one who had sinned. Just as we are all sinners. David had sinned and was in need of restoration.

  • Psalms 51:12

We have all sinned and at times are in need of restoration.

  • Galatians 6:1-2

If one is out of joint, in need of restoration, the Lord will bring them back into that right relationship with God.

  • James 5:19-20

The Lord is My Shepherd; He Leads in the Paths of Righteousness

For His own glory, His own purpose, He leads me in right paths. He leads me in the straight paths that lead to righteousness for His own glory.

  • Matthew 7:13-14

The Lord is My Shepherd; In Comfort and Sorrow

PSALMS 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

We shall not want for comfort and companionship in sorrow.

The Shepherd uses the rod for chastisement gently the stubborn older sheep, or to reach across a gully to rescue a lost sheep. Sometimes we are gonna stray from the safe path. But, He cares and will lead us safely through to the other side.

We must always remember that the Lord is our Shepherd. He is with us.

God cares for us. He cares for our fears. He gives us comfort through His word. That's why the Psalms are there to help us through the difficulties, the sorrows, the troubles of this life.

The Lord is My Shepherd; Preparest a Table for Me

PSALMS 23:5

We will never want for the things we need in this life. Christ has prepared a great table spread for us at His great feast. Spiritually speaking  we'll never want for anything. All things are provided for us in the word of God.

  • John 4:33-34

This is as Jesus is there at the well in Samaria. He has been speaking to the Samaritan woman. And, His will is to do the will of God. The disciples had gone into town to get food. But, He didn't need food because He had been filled with the word and doing the Lord's will.

We must remember that the Lord is My Shepherd, He Prepares a table for me it is a great feast. We will experience joy unsurpassed at His table.

  • 1 Peter 3:8
  • John 16:33

He has prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies. His blessings are more than we can understand. The great treasure of His word, of his grace, are all ours in abundance.

The Lord is My Shepherd; I will Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever

PSALMS 23:6

We will not want for a home at the end of the way. Goodness and mercy accompany the Good Shepherd's flock  as they journey toward the end of life. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever is the eternal home for all faithful followers of God.

  • John 14:1-9

Christ has prepared a place for us. And, he's showed us the way there. The way by means of the way to travel the straight and narrow path that leads unto life. As a Good Shepherd leads his sheep at the end of the day to their home. The Lord leads us to our eternal home.

David had that great hope, that great confidence because the Lord was his Shepherd. Today, you can make the Lord your Shepherd by hearing, and obeying His word.

  • John 10:27-28

The Lord is willing to be your Shepherd, He wants to be your Shepherd. He is that one that left heaven and came and wondered the wilderness to find that lost sheep. That is you and I. He will bear us back to the Father.

  • Matthew 11:28-30

Today, if you cannot say that the Lord is your Shepherd, then you need to become a child of God. You do that by hearing the word of God, believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, repenting of your sins, confessing that Jesus is the Son of God, and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.


Jack McNiel, Evangelist
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