We come this
week in our study of the Psalms to the most quoted of all Psalms. It
is Psalm 23 which says, “The
LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in
green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my
soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness
and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in
the house of the LORD forever.”
Be careful in
letting just anyone embrace this Psalm as their own. It is set in the
middle of the trilogy of Psalms. In Psalms 22 we are told of Jesus as
the suffering sacrifice and in Psalm 24 we see Him reigning as the
Sovereign Savior. In the middle of the trilogy we see Him as the
sweet shepherd. You will never know the sweet shepherd until you know
him as the sweet sacrifice. He will never be your sovereign Savior
until He is your sweet shepherd and suffering sacrifice.
has been called by some, ‘David’s Journal’. A journal and a diary are
much different. A diary is that which one would write in every day.
They have a tendency to be wordy and boring but a journal is that
which we write only the high spots of our life. I have had the great
honor of keeping a journal over the years. What a blessing to open it
and walk down the memory lane of God’s high points of my life. I do
not want to gloss over this Psalm but let us walk slowly through it.
Let us look for the sweet nuggets of gold in David’s Journal and may
we experience days of heaven on earth.
Let us look
at verse 1 as THE REVEALING DAYS OF DAVID’S JOURNAL. Blessed
be the day on which this Psalm was born! God revealed such a big
world to all in this first opening statement. It has traveled the
world over in every language and tongue. It has helped prisoners in
the prison house, it has comforted dying soldiers on the battle field,
the wife or husband who has lost their mate, the poor orphan bereaved
of their parents, and the lonely parents called upon to put a child
beneath the sod are lifted here. Psalm 23 has arisen for every
occasion to be the everlasting arms of God to lift the bereaved up and
over their times of trouble.
revealing days of David’s Journal he says, “The Lord is my shepherd…”
The word LORD is in all caps in our King James Bible. This speaks of
Jehovah, the Great I Am, the Self Sufficient One, the One who Is, who
Was, and who is to Come.
does not speak of Him being the shepherd of the world. It doesn’t
speak of Him shepherding the generations of yesterday or the
generations that now are and those that are to come. It speaks only
of Him being ‘My Shepherd’. The word ‘shepherd’ is akin
to our word ‘pastor’. The LORD is my pastor. It speaks of one
who preserves. How we see this in the life of the shepherds
illustrated in the Bible. David killed a bear and a lion to preserve
a flock. Abel laid down his life as a shepherd. The word ‘shepherd’
speaks of a provider. We are dumb sheep who can not take care of
ourselves. Paul said that He would supply all our needs. The word ‘shepherd’
speaks of a director. Our shepherd will lead us in a plain path if we
but follow Him. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned
everyone to his own way. What a patient shepherd we have to direct
us. This statement is in the present tense “is my shepherd”.
It is not, He was or could be or shall be, but that He is my
said in this REVEALING DAY of his journal “…I shall not want…”
This phrase includes the present “I want not” as well as the
future “I shall not want”. It speaks of our temporal needs.
God will not let any true need of His child go unmet. This is a
wanting crazed world that we live in. He must alone be the supply of
all we want. I never found that Christ was all I wanted until Christ
was all I had. He supplies all of our spiritual needs. The
materialism rat race will place you in a hole that you can not climb
out of but He supplies the deep spiritual wants of our hearts.
Oh to enter
into the world of not wanting is to be lifted into a realm far above
the reach of this temporal earth. I bless the day I was allowed to
say, ‘The LORD is Tom Gilliam’s shepherd’.