Verse 1, The Lord is My Shepard. David and his father Jesse were Shepards. David was writing this Psalm as a sheep from a sheep's perspective not from a Shepards view. The sheeps livelihood depended on the Shepard taking care of them. Have we allowed God to take that place in our lives, that the Lord God is our Shepard? Being saved is one thing but have we given God total control over our lives?
Sheep are not self sufficient and we like sheep need care and management. Sheep are very dumb, very high maintenance. We cannot manage our lives well, we need to allow God to manage us.
Sheep get branded with the Shepards brand, if they get lost and are found then the finders know what Shepard they belong to by the brand on the inside of their ear. What brand do you carry? Mark 8:34 tells us what brand we carry. Our brand is the cross of Christ, can others(outsiders)see our mark? What are we saying to the unsaved? Do they see us as part of the flock of God?
Second part of 1st verse: I shall not be in want. Since the Lord is my Shepard, I shall not be in want. If you are content and at peace with yourself and your life, the the Lord is your Shepard. If we have allowed God to be our Shepard then we will not lack, we will not crave or desire anything more.
"What you have in your Shepard(Jesus)is greater than what you don't have in life", Max Lucado. Psalm 16:5 My choice is you God, first and only. And now I find I'm Your choice, Message Bible. Lord, You are enough! Your what I need, I shall not be in want. When do we get to that place when we say "we have enough"?
The world says "it's never enough", God says" It is enough" Trust God and you will never be in want.
Week 2 Psalm 23:2
He makes(verb) me lie down in green pastures. Sheep cannot sleep unless the conditions are perfect. Without the Shepard the sheep will not rest. Spiritually we can't rest unless God is in our life. "He makes me", it's the Shepards job to make a place for the sheep to sleep. It's the sheeps job to keep their eyes on the Shepard. Isaiah 26: 3 People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit. Message Bible.
Green pastures were not common in the Middle East where David was a Shepard. The Shepard takes great care in creating a green pasture for his sheep. He knows exactly where the green pastures are. God knows where He is leading us, He knows where we are going. Our job, like the sheeps, is to trust our Shepard. We have to come to a place of rest physically, mentally and spiritually.
In order fro sheep to rest there are 4 requirements that must be met and if these are not met the sheep will be discontented:
1-They must be free from all fear. Sheep are timid and skitish animals, one small rabbit or mouse would set them off, the sheep go AWOL. Sheep have no means of self defense, they are helpless and get out of control.
Nothing quiets and reassures sheep like seeing their Shepard. Much like our lives as Christians, there is nothing more reassuring than to have our Shepard always there, God doesn't sleep or slumber. 2Tim.1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. NIV. Sound Mind= a mind at ease, at peace, not being harassed or obsessed with fear of the future. God won't bless fear, but He will bless faith!
2- They have to be free from tension within the flock. If there is not peace within the flock the sheep will not rest. Discontented sheep will butt against the flock. Spiritually for us we may have conflict within our families, we can't change them but we can change ourselves. The greatest discontent with us is conflict with one another, but if our eyes are on our Shepard we will have peace.
3-Free from torment of insects. Sheep can be tormented by gnats in the summer and they won't sleep. The Shepard will go to great lengths and great expense to get rid of these pests. Always keep in mind that the Shepards goal is to keep the sheep quiet and at peace. Likewise, our Shepard is keenly aware of what bothers us. We bring the big things to God but what about the gnats in our lives, the little nuisances? He is concerned about what concerns us. There is nothing small of insignificant to God regarding us.
4-Free from hunger, leading these sheep to green pastures so they can rest, the Shepard has prepared that for them. They need green pastures for the greatest nourishment. Our Shepard knows where to bring us for nourishment that will help us rest. A little bite here and a little bite there, we are never fully satisfied, John 6:33-35 For the bread of God is He(Jesus)who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Matt. 5:6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake for they will be filled.
There are green pastures prepared for us by God, let Him lead us and nourish us to those pastures, mid-week services can be one of those green pastures. Nourish others with the truth about Gods Word.
I will stop here as it took Heidi Reiszner 6 weeks to complete this series and I must take some time getting this all on paper. But do you see the resemblance between sheep and us as God's sheep we can be very similar. I promise you by the time we are finished you will see Psalm 23 in a whole new light just as I did. Stayed tuned for part two of this amazing analysis!