Friday, June 15, 2012

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd
  • Naturally a shepherd like David would call (by inspiration) the Lord a shepherd.
  • Psalm 78:52 “Then he led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.”
  • Psalm 80:1 “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!
    You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.”
  • Isaiah 40:11 “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
  • Ezekiel 34:11 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.”
  • Ezekiel 34:23 “And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.”
  • John 10: 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
  • The Shepherd is the worst job. You condescend to spend all your time guarding dumb smelly creatures.

I shall not want
  • Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
  • Psalm 34:10 “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
  • Psalm 34:9 “Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!”

He makes me lie down in green pastures
  • Hebrew NEOTH which means pastures, or sheep cot, or lodges.  An open air tent in fertile ground that sheep can cool off under while eating
  • Ezekiel 34:14 “I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.”
  • John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”

He leads me beside still waters
  • Hebrew: waters of rest - denoting gently flowing water.
    Sheep have trouble drinking from fast moving waters, and it is harmful to drink from stagnant water
  • Is there anything you can think of that the sheep need that they have not gotten? Food, water, shelter

He restores my soul
  • Psalms 19:7 God refreshes our soul
  • The word means ‘to make new’
  • As a shepherd who coddles and heals his sheep, so God does likewise to our soul

He leads me in paths of righteousness
  • Righteousness, or ‘right paths’
  • Isaiah 49:10 “they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.”
  • Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” What does it say of John the Baptist? Make level the ground, make straight the paths, prepare the way for the coming Lord
  • Psalm 31:3 “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me”
  • Proverbs 8:20 “I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,”

For His name sake
  • Ezekiel 20:9 “But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.” And 20:14
  • Why has God created the world as He has? For His Glory. For His name.
  • Psalm 79:9 “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!”
  • Why has therefore God fed us and clothed us, nursed, healed us?  Because of any good thing we did or will do or are? WRONG! Because there is only One who is good, God alone.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
  • In spite of all that good protection, believers are still exposed to danger
  • Hebrew tsalmaveth meaning deadly shade, which connotes near or in a cave of darkness, a den of wild animals
  • Psalm 138:7 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;
    you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.”
  • During our trials we are to take comfort in running to God

I will fear no evil
  • Psalm 27:1 “he LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
    The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
  • The Lord who is for you is greater than them, therefore be strong and courageous and do not be afraid
  • Psalm 118: 6 “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
  • Fear God who can cast you body and soul into hell

For you are with me;
  • Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
  • Indeed He is everywhere and has promised not to leave us

Your rod and your staff they comfort me
  • The crook and cudgel that is to be used on the enemies of the sheep.  We need not fear the severe justice of God, but delight in it as our protection

You prepare a table before me
  • Transitions to future tense
  • Psalms 78:19 “They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness?”
  • to prepare a table is to make ready

In the presence of my enemies
  • On the run from absolom David was blessed by some men 2 Samuel 17:27-29 “When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, "The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness."
  • Though evil men try to destroy David, though they hate him, still God is good

You anoint my head with oil
  • David was anointed by Samuel for kingship
  • For visiting guests they would perfume you with oil if you were a friend or welcome guest Jesus said ‘you did not oil me..’
  • Psalm 45:7 “you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;”

My cup overflows
  • Psalm 16:5 “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.”
  • Or better still: my cup continually is overflowing, you catch the oil in the cup, that it is overflowing is a generous beyond measure testimony to God

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
  • Surely – only
  • Mercy – steadfast love
  • Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”

And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever
  • In Hebrew: forever = length of days
  • In addressing Jesus Psalm 21:4 “He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.”
  • David’s goal was to make it to heaven with God, in God’s presence, and to seek things not of this earth, but things of the next world.

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