Psalm 23: The LORD is my Shepherd
May 31st, 2020

The 23rd Psalm is a Psalm of comfort, a Psalm that celebrates right relationship between God and Man. 

In the twenty-third psalm, God reveals himself primarily as our shepherd.  As we

The relationship that David is talking about here between himself and God is a forever relationship, that should be getting deeper and more fulfilling for us all of the time. 

23 The Lord is my shepherd,

The Lord

Who is my Shepherd?  The capital LORD in your bible tells you that the word used here is Yaweh, the divine name of God. 

When we read this psalm, we tend to focus on all of the 7 things that the Lord does for us that are mentioned.

But look how the Psalm begins and ends.  The psalm is about God, what He does. 

The tone of the 23rd Psalm is at its heart very personal.  Up to now in the Psalms, God has been referred to as king, deliverer, or even the impersonal rock or shield, but calling God our shepherd emphasizes the relationship between God and us.  David is thinking about the comfort and care that God gives us personally. The trust that the sheep place in their shepherd, confident that He will lead them rightly because of who He is.   

Psalm 23 is a song of David proclaiming his confidence as one who has lived, having put his trust and faith in God as his Lord, and who will carry this confidence through death and beyond to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. 

Who’s shepherd his he?

My shepherd--Personal shepherd

God is only our shepherd if we are His

The 23rd Psalm is written from the perspective of the sheep.  King David is giving us a picture of what it’s like to be one of God’s sheep.  Psalm 100:2 says Know that the Lord Himself is God;It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  And again in Psalm 95:7  For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Calling us believers sheep is not so much a complement to us, as it is a picture of the total dependence that we have on God as our shepherd.

King David calls himself a sheep.  Sure, he is King over Israel, but he is most fundamentally also a sheep, just like all believers, under the care of the Great Shepherd, the Lord.  It’s important to remember that first and foremost, we are all fellow brother and sister sheep under the care of our Great Shepherd.

See God doesn’t look at things the same way that men do.  God looks at the heart.  It’s often the ones that people overlook that God uses and elevates because they’re not going to get prideful and full of themselves.

Shepherding sheep was the traditional occupation of Israel.  It was because the Israelites were shepherds that they came to live in the land of Goshen.  As we read in the Exodus of God sending his plagues to the Egyptians, we see over and over, God sparing the land of Goshen from the plagues.  God made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians in these plagues, using the separation of the two peoples.

See this lifestyle of trusting the Lord and letting the Lord be our shepherd is going to be loathsome, or hated or disgusting to non-believers.  This life we have been called to separates us, just like it separated the Israelites living in Goshen from the Egyptians elsewhere in Egypt.  As Christians we are consecrated, set apart for service to God. 

I shall not [be in] want

Notice that the LORD is his shepherd now—present tense.  The Lord is now my shepherd, and notice that David is saying, so I won’t be in want in the future.  It’s a statement of trust and faith in God’s power to provide

want” means a lack of something that is needed.  It’s not so much that the LORD will give us everything that we desire. In Psalm 84:11 it says For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  

No good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly, but many of the things that we desire are not good for us, at least in the way and in the timing that we want to see that desire fulfilled. 

prayer is always answered.  Sometimes the answer is Yes, sometimes the answer is No, and sometimes the answer is Wait