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The Lord My Shepherd in Psalm 23 Brings Rest

the lord my shepherd

Psalm 23 is such a visual psalm, offering object lessons to help us understand how Jesus brings rest. Jesus is the Lord my shepherd and I am his sheep.

Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever.

Psalm 23:1-6 WEB

When I was in Turkey, I saw a shepherd with his sheep. While the sheep are eagerly grazing, focusing only on the grass ahead, the shepherd was watching over them, making sure they are safe. He used his rod to tap them gently when they go after grass outside the safe zone.

It led me to think about the Lord my shepherd who leads me to good safe ground. A place of plenty and a place to rest.

My study bible says that green pastures are literally pastures of tender grass. Can you imagine lying on soft tender grass? How comfortable.

It also says that still waters are literally waters of rest. Can you imagine lying beside waters of rest? Not torrential and noisy water but gentle streams. So peaceful and relaxing.

What’s more! He has to make me lie down. It seems that I am not willing to lie down. He got to make me. And when I lie down and rest, my soul is restored.

Psalm 23 did not specifically say that Jesus is the Shepherd. This was done by another bible verse 1 Peter 2:24-25.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness. You were healed by his wounds.

For you were going astray like sheep; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 2:24-25 WEB

Apostle Peter wrote that Jesus is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. We are the sheep that have gone astray.

This then reminds me of the parable of the lost sheep.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Jesus taught in Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7 on the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? 

If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 

Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:12-14 WEB

He told them this parable.

“Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it?

When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

Luke 15:3-7 WEB

The parable is about how a shepherd leaves his 99 sheep to go and look for the one that wandered off.

Actually no shepherd will risk 99 sheep to go look for one. Only God does that.

Only God will go and find the lost sheep, even only one. When He find it, He will carry it on his shoulder and brings it home. He will rejoice and celebrate over that one lost sheep. It is not just God’s willingness but also His ability to keep the 99 safe while He goes and look for the lost sheep.

Ahhh, what a wonderful divine thought!

Thank you the Lord my shepherd for looking for me. Bringing me to rest and supply.

Let me end this quiet time with 2 songs:

牧者 – 新造崇拜

耶稣祢是我的牧者 
我不至缺乏 
祢使我躺卧在青草地上 
令我在可安歇的水边 
祢使我的灵魂苏醒 
牵着我的手 
引导我走义路

虽我走过死荫幽谷 
也不怕遭害 
耶稣 拯救主 
祢与我同在 
你的杖和竿 都安慰我 
你用油恩膏我的头 
我必住在祢殿中直到永远 

Chorus:
主耶稣 
我的心仰望祢 
我的主 我的神 
我依靠祢 
我将一切的忧虑 
卸在祢十字架前 
因祢为了爱我而舍了已 

Psalm 23 By Don Moen and Steve Merkel

Jesus, my shepherd and only provider
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still water
He restores my soul

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
All the days of my life
And I will dwell in house forever
Until the end of time

Jesus, my shepherd and only provider
You make me lie down in green pastures
You lead me beside the still water
You restore my soul

Though I walk through the valley of shadows
I will not be afraid
Your rod and staff are my only comfort
And You'll be with me always

You prepared a table before me
In the presence of my enemies
And you anoint my head with oil
And my cup overflows
My cup overflows with your love, with your love

Jesus, my shepherd and only provider
You make me lie down in green pastures
You lead me beside the still water
You restore my soul

Feature image: https://www.maxpixel.net/Shepherd-Sheep-Freedom-Vietnam-Landscape-Travel-5301698

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