The Lord, Our Shepherd
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Psalm 23:1-6
I. Introduction: In Psalm 23, David compares the Lord to a shepherd who lovingly tends his flock. Through this passage, we learn that Jehovah—the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God––tenderly cares for those who belong to Him. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14). Those who have trusted Christ as Savior have the assurance that He will watch over and nurture them.
II. Jesus is a personal Shepherd.
A. David wrote: “The LORD is my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1, emphasis added). Every child of God can have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. But that fellowship is possible only through His Son Jesus.
B. A person who denies Jesus does not know the Good Shepherd. Many times, people say, “I don’t believe in Jesus, but I do believe in God.” However, Christ said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
III. He is a providing Shepherd.
A. Psalm 23:1 says, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” A good shepherd wants His sheep to have only what is best for them; God gives us what we truly need (Phil. 4:19). Sometimes that means we will ask for things but won’t receive them. If the Father delays in granting your request, you can be certain He has a reason that is in your best interest.
B. Psalm 34:9 says, “To those who fear Him there is no want.” When we submit to the Lord, He promises to supply what we need. And when we delight in Him, we allow God to conform our desires to His holy will.
IV. Our God is a pardoning Shepherd.
A. “He restores my soul” (Ps. 23:3). Every believer has strayed from God at some point, but thankfully, the Good Shepherd willingly restores fellowship with Him when we confess our sins (1 John 1:8-9).And that intimacy fills us with incomparable joy and peace (Ps. 23:5).
B. Why do God’s people wander away from Him? Often a Christian drifts because he has believed Satan’s lies or listened to the world’s perspective. That’s why it ’s important for believers to discern the Shepherd’s voice. Spend time reading the Gospels and Paul’s epistles. Jesus will never tell you to do something that contradicts the Word of God.
V. The Lord is a protecting Shepherd.
A. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil” (Ps. 23:4). Everyone goes through valleys, or low points, in life. We may face sorrow, heartache, doubt, or other kinds of adversity, but Christians need not be afraid.
B. The King James Version of Psalm 23:4 says, “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” No matter what happens, we don’t have to be afraid. The constant presence of our Shepherd provides the assurance we need to always feel safe (Heb. 13:5). If you walk obediently before Him, He will bring good out of the hardships you endure (Rom. 8:28).
VI. Jesus is a preparing Shepherd.
A. David anticipated his heavenly home: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps. 23:5-6).
B. Jesus promised that He would prepare an eternal home for those who receive His gift of forgiveness and trust Him with their lives (John 3:3; 14:2-3). Those of us who know the Lord have the assurance that death is not the end but, rather, a beginning.
VII. Conclusion: Nothing compares to the awesome promise believers have in Christ. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, wants an intimate personal relationship with you—He wants to provide for your needs, forgive your sins, and protect you from evil. In hardship, His followers can turn to Him for comfort and rest in His promise to bring good out of every situation. And then some day, all who belong to Jesus will join Him in heaven, where a place will have been prepared for each one.
If you have not yet asked the Father to forgive you of your sins, I pray that you will. Receive Jesus as your Savior—then you can proclaim with confidence, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23; Author: W. Phillip Keller; ISBN: 0310291429
In Northern Nevada, sheepherders would “trail” their flocks of 1,000 to 2,000 sheep to an area where there would be adequate water and grass, and preferably some shade, during the summer months, keeping the band together and moving to fresh feed every day. Depending on the type of operation, a sheepherder might also lead his sheep to lower-altitude grazing lands in the autumn, spring, and even winter months. One herder (usually on horseback) and a good dog could manage a band of sheep this size, and most days there was time to spare, for sleeping or daydreaming or reading or making music or carving on aspens, but a herder was always on call to respond to predators or sheep in trouble. Most sheepherders in Nevada until the early 1980s were Basques.
I had to stay right by the sheep, especially at night. There were lots of coyotes and I wanted to save every lamb. I had almost one thousand, but I cared about each one. If I found a dead lamb, well I just started to cry.
— Beltran Paris, Beltran: Basque Sheepman of the American West, p. 30
In the summer, a herder slept in a simple tent, near the sheep, carrying his gear and supplies on packhorses or mules. In the winter, a sheep wagon or trailer might be a sheepherder’s home. A camp tender would bring fresh supplies every week or so. Most of the time on the range, though, a sheepherder spent alone with his animals.
Pics to depict Jesus as my shepherd.
The shepherd caring for his flock…