Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd


Intro: Psalm 23 is one of the most popular/ most quoted / most well known Psalms in the world.

A)Though it is only 6 verses – Power packed w/ insight & comfort


B) Written some time shortly after David Killed Goliath & was befriended by Jonathan

1)   Perhaps when the Dust settled a bit and David was able to catch his breath – sit & contemplate all that had just transpired –


C) It was there that God gave to him this wonderful Psalm – Psalm that we know by heart – but good to consider & Meditate on

1)   GREAT BOOK – Read once a year – Shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm


The Lord is MY Shepherd

­A)In Jn 10 Jesus made this statement – I am the Good Shepherd


B) It is one thing to know Jesus as THE Good Shepherd OR as A SHEPHERD – but quite another to know him as MY SHEPHERD

1)   that personal pronoun MY – speaks of relationship / Actor & Pastor


C) It speaks of Ownership – I belong to Him


Believers  likened to sheep : Sheep are one of the dumbest animals

A)Sheep need direction – follow another over a cliff- People are like that follow the bad influences of others – Drugs / Gambling / drinking /


B) Sheep need Protection – Defenseless / People by themselves – w/out the Lord are defenseless against the Wiles /schemes & strength of the enemy

  1) Sheep need leading – they will graze on Bair – dirt for weeks w/out seeking out – greener pastures


C) How many people will sit week after week – eating what amounts to Cotton candy spiritually / worse yet – dirt – never budge never think to move

So people are like sheep - & that being the case are in desperate need of a Shepherd who will care / feed / Protect/ guide / be there for us

A)Jesus wants to be that Shepherd to each & every person – but that relationship is only entered into when we accept him as our Lord


B) It is only then that we can say like David – The Lord is my shepherd

It is well to know, as certainly as David did, that we belong to the Lord.


CHS There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no “if” nor “but,” nor even “I hope so;” but he says, “The Lord is my shepherd.”


C) Notice David’s next observation: The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

1)   Every need finds it’s satisfaction in Him –


D)Things I wanted – Girlfriend / Baseball Career – finally come to that place – Lord all I really want is You – Blesses you beyond believe


D) Lk 12 : Don’t worry about Provision – Birds / lilies / Father Knows your needs – ( Earthly father vs heavenly fathers – my kids have a need)

1)   Our heavenly Father KNOWS OUR NEEDS – NEEDS VS WANTS


Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


E) Reminded of that again today – Visiting Dan Noval – heart attack

1)   God becomes what ever the need is – They needed strength & peace and comfort in the mist of the storm – God met the need !!!!


Eph. 20Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


Phillips- “The Lord Jesus SHARES HIS LIFE W/ US ! He puts his unlimited resources at our disposal & He cares for us as though we were the sole care & concern He had in the Universe”

V.2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters.

A)Notice that Rest comes before the walk: Before we learn to walk w/ Jesus we need to learn to Rest in Jesus – His Finished work


B) His Care – His ABILITY to lead us !!!!

1)   Jesus said – Come unto me all weary & Heavy Laden - …..Rest

  Then Take my yoke & learn of me


C) Rest always comes before the walk –


CHS The Christian life has two elements in it, the contemplative and the active, and both of these are richly provided for.


The Green Pastures speaks of food for the sheep – our Green Pastures are the truths of Scripture – always fresh/ always rich / never exhausted

A) When by faith we are enabled to find rest in the promises, we are like the sheep that lie down in the midst of the pasture;


B) We find at the same moment both provision & peace, rest and refreshment, serenity and satisfaction.

1)   Lying down speaks of resting in the truth !!! – Standing on it – Clinging to it – allowing the word to refresh you


C) Now The second part of a vigorous Christian’s life consists in gracious activity. We not only think, but we act.

1) We are not always lying down to feed, but are journeying onward toward perfection; hence we read, “he leads me beside the still waters.”


D) What are these “still waters” but the influences and graces of his blessed Holy Spirit?

1)   The HS is often likened to water in the Scriptures – waters that cleanse, & refresh / that fertilize. Bring to life that which is dead.


E) That is the work the HS is engaged in –in the life of the believer!!!

Make Note – Our Good Shepherd Lead us / He doesn’t Drive us

A)In that culture shepherds never drove the sheep they lead the sheep ! Common to see shepherds walking & flock following behind


B)In our society there are so many things that seek to drive us ! Some are driven by the desire for success / climb the corporate ladder / retire at 30

1) Others are driven by the pursuit of status / appear to be someone / keep up w/ the Jones’s mentality


C) Shepherds never drove the sheep – But You could see sheep being driven – always by the BUTCHERS driving them to the slaughterhouse

1)   I think the comparison is a good one – so much in our culture that seeks to drive us – in reality – Destroy us



He makes me to Lay down in Green Pastures ( THE WORD) leads me beside the still waters –( the Spirit) – The Result v.3



B) Word restore means to bring it back – revives it and reinvigorates it when it is exhausted and weary


C)I can’t count the amount of times that the Lord has brought back my soul!!!

 1)Thrashed emotionally – gone mentally – worn out spiritually{Yesterday}


D) Morning Devotions / Meets me – like a shower – revives you / like a good meal satisfies hunger – energizes –


My Good Shepherd not only strengthens me thru His word & thru His spirit – but He also Leads me in the Path of righteousness

A)Our Shepherd leads us – thru His word – speaking to our hearts –

Instruction in what is right – Conviction – what is wrong / Correction


B) Also by His example- Read gospels – See the Shepherd

C) What is the Motive of following in that Path of Righteousness – for HIS NAME SAKE

1)   It is to the honour of our great Shepherd that we should be a holy people, walking in the narrow way of righteousness.


Now so far David has been speaking in the 3rd person He leads / He makes me to lie down/ He restores../ He leads the path ….

A)But when He hits v.4 – the subject of death – David drops the 3rd person & moves to the 2nd person singular – You – read verse


B) He is no longer talking about the shepherd / He is talking TO the shepherd !!!!!!

1)    Every believer needs to make the jump from talking about the Lord – to talking TO THE LORD


C) Some believers are really good at talking – about –The Lord this / the Lord that – but never talk to Him


D) But when you are in the Valley of the shadow of death – He is needs to be very personal –


See We all have our Valleys – infact – Shepherds – winter & spring graze on the ranches – summer hotter – go to the Mt Plateus

A)In order to get there – had to go to thru the Valley’s


B) CHS To walk indicates the steady advance of a soul which knows its road, knows its end, resolves to follow the path, feels quite safe, and is therefore perfectly calm and composed.


C) Note David is talking about the Shadow of death Some one has said that when there is a shadow there must be light somewhere,

1) Death stands by the side of the highway in which we have to travel, and the light of heaven shining upon him throws a shadow across our path;


D) So we can rejoice that there is a light beyond. – Heaven

Nobody is afraid of a shadow, for a shadow cannot stop a man’s pathway even for a moment.

A)The shadow of a dog cannot bite; the shadow of a sword cannot kill; the shadow of death cannot destroy us.


B)Let us not, therefore, be afraid. “I will fear no evil.”


Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse was one of America's great preachers.

When His first wife died from cancer when she was in her thirties, leaving three children under the age of twelve


What does a father tell his motherless children at a time like that?

 On the way to the service, he was driving with his little family when a large truck passed them in the highway, casting a shadow over their car.


 Barnhouse turned to his oldest daughter who was staring out the window, and asked, "Tell me, sweetheart, would you rather be run over by that truck or its shadow?"


The little girl looked curiously at her father and said, "By the shadow, I guess.  It can't hurt you."


  Then Dr. Barnhouse said quietly to the three children, "Your mother has not been overrun by death, but by the shadow of death.  That is nothing to fear." 


C) Not afraid to Die – Flying – My days are numbered – I don’t want to suffer but I am not afraid to die


Reason for not fearing – The Lord is w/ Him – Comfort from Rod & Staff –

A)Rod was a small club – used for fighting off Predators


B) Staff – long stick – hook – gently pull in a stray, out of harms way!


C) So in the mist of the Valleys / When facing my Goliaths – Rod – reminds me – He is there to Protect me/ Staff – able to keep me from falling

V.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

     You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

A)In the Presence of Opposition – The Shepherd provides those in His care w/ Substance – Faith & strength to meet the Challenge


B) Anointing from the HS – Empowering to wage warfare


C) And Blessing – Cup runs over { David against Goliath is a great example of this }


V.6      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

A)This has been called the kings Highway – We are on a journey & hard on our heels come God’s two great Ambassadors Goodness / mercy


B)These have been called God’s footmen – Old days footmen ran behind the carriage & once the party arrived at destination –

1)   These two men handled all the preparations – Carried bags / Hotel reservations etc


C) Goodness takes care of our steps / Mercy takes care of our Stumbles


And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.


Reoccurring theme in David’s Psalms – Passion for God’s Presence



PSALM 23 of David tell us much about David's heart towards God


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


          A believing heart


He came to know the shepherd heart of God and TRUSTED            God to care for him

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

       A quiet and meditative heart



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


          A heart set on holiness


               This is the TRUE proof of a heart after God


     VERSE  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 courageous heart based on what he knew of God


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


          A thankful heart


     VERSE 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.


          A hopeful heart