A song of trust and praise to The Shepherd King, written by King David who he himself had been a shepherd is built around the daily life of Shepherding pastures.............................
The Biblical imagery of a pasture shepherd characterizes the protective activities that stress the care and compassion of The Divine Shepherd, also the dependence upon God to meet all their needs. This emphasis is on His grace followed by His goodness. He is the able protector and provider and gives His reassuring presence.
When David wrote this Psalm, approximately 1,000 years before Christ, he used a well known NAME of God for each line.
This Psalm is taken from the New Living Translation Holy Bible.
After grazing in the morning, sheep lie down at noon in a cool and shady place. So close was the connection between the sheep and their shepherd, simply just calling them, the flock would follow their shepherd's voice. A shepherd's task was to lead sheep from watering and grazing along safe paths to the sheepfold for protection overnight.
The protection was against predators, and shepherds would carry two pieces of weapons, a club-like rod and crook (Staff). One of these weapons, the rod was also used to count the sheep as they entered the sheepfold. Shepherds and sheep were inseparable. Sheep are totally dependant upon the shepherd for all things, food, water and protection from wild animals. The helplessness of sheep accounts for the actions and qualities of a good shepherd.
This psalm speaks prophetically of Jesus, The Good Shepherd, extending His love to all. Jesus did call himself The Good Shepherd. He taught on how His sheep knew His voice.
Christians are the sheep of the Great Shepherd King and He is there to protect, guide, lead, shield, rescue, deliever and reassure the flock as a true shepherd does. He restores the spirit, soul and body. He leads His people on paths of safety in Him, to stay right with God and to bring honor to His name. He escorts personally His sheep through difficulties with strength and authority as symbolized by the rod. Shepherds use rods for counting, guiding, protecting and rescueing their sheep. The staff symbolizes support and comfort.
Jesus is the Shepherd King and Christians have the reassuring presence in their lives. Flocks under the Good Shepherd can be restful and lie down, contented and and secure with a flourishing productive life, provided with refreshments and well-being. Just as sheep are afraid of fast flowing streams and cannot lie down unless they feel totally secure, so does God bring confident comfort to His people.
The valley is to relate to a threatening environment. The Good Shepherd is with His people even in the most difficult situations. Just as sheep are not left alone by their shepherd, The Lord guides, protects and keeps safe His people.
Anointing is associated with blessing. God gives abundant care to His people. The banquet is a victory celebration. God's provision is luxurious and abundant. He is a gracious host. The Shepherd King has infinite resources and receives His people as guests and takes them under His protection, treated as loyal, bonded friends as well as honoured guests.
God's loyal love is expressed by goodness and mercy. As a Shepherd,
He pursues His people and He will bring them to have the full enjoyment
of His blessed presence. Dwelling with God is on-going intimate friendship.
The blessings are promised in the New Covenant of Grace procured through Christ, that God offers, along with His presence.
The Names of God used by King David in this Psalm-
The Lord God is my/our shepherd, He feeds me/us, He leads me/us,
He keeps me/us from thirsting, He is my/our companion and friend. He protects
and He cares. He has provided for me/us as a shepherd provides for their
sheep. A confession of individual belief of a personal relationship. Almighty
God who undertakes the defense, care and guidance of a single life.
JEHOVAH-JIREH-The Lord who will provide always. The One whose provision is seen. He sees my/our needs and willingly provides for them and He is able to make any provision for all and everything. He provided forgiveness of my/our sins, for Jesus took the curse for my/our sins and overcame spiritual death for me/us as well as physical death and gave to me/us victory in all things. He is always faithful to see the solution of my/our problems and my/our needs. "I shall not want." This is an affirmation statement that as The Great Shepherd, He can supply every need according to his riches.
JEHOVAH-SHALOM-The Lord God is my peace, He accomplished peace for me/us, so that I/we can lie down and rest. He is my/our contentment and satisfaction in life and I/we have peace with Him through Christ and he has made all things secure and complete for me/us. A believer rests in The Lord.
JEHOVAH-ROPEKA-He restores and heals my/our souls as well as healing my/our hearts. He is my/our comfort and support. The Divine Shepherd is the Divine Physician who heals the soul.
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU-The Lord our God is righteous and He is my/our righteousness for Christ was made to be sin for me/us that I/we might become fully restored to God, complete in Christ after being spiritually dead and separated from Him. For His Name's sake God leads me/us into the likeness of His own nature, down the path of righteousness.
JEHOVAH-NISSI-The Lord God is My/Our Banner of victory, my/our standard of covering to whom I/we belong. My/Our ensign of miracles. Christ is my/our banner under whom I/we do victorious warfare, for He has gone before me/us and conquered. His Banner over me/us is Love, my/our high flying flag, and my/our emblem over powers that would harm and deceive. He prepares a banquet forme/ us in the company of my/our enemies. Even though a believer lives in the midst of enemies, it is a joyful privilege to have fellowship with God, who is my/our Banner of Defense.
JEHOVAH-M'KADDESH- He anoints me/us with the oil of gladness and sanctifies me/us. He has set me/us apart for Himself to be pure and serve in His name. I/We are His honoured guests. The application of the oil-anointed head is a reminder of how God treats His guest.
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH- He is always with me/us, always there. He will never leave or forsake me/us. I/We take comfort and encouragement as I/we can rely and be confident that His presence is always with me/and nothing can separate me/us from His Love and Care. He has given me/us His Holy Spirit.
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAL- God is with me/us, He is ever near, always at hand, faithful, filling time and eternity.
|SCRIPTURES Psalm 23
QUESTIONS 1] Why has God chosen to be as a Shepherd? 2] How can people lie down like flocks of sheep? 3] How does God use a shepherd's rod and a shepherd's staff?
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