Psalm 23: Sheep Talking

February 3, 2015

“The Lord is my Shepherd…”   (Psalm 23:1)

God created you and me to be men and women who make choices.  God very much wants to be our Shepherd, but we must choose to make God our Shepherd.  We must deliberately choose to say, “baa!” and become one of the sheep of His pasture.

Can you declare the first five words of this great Shepherd Psalm as a personal confession of faith? Can you, yourself, personally confess with authentic faith, “the Lord is my Shepherd?”

People touch  me as they describe the way the Lord came into their lives, made them lie down and say, “baa!”  I am frequently concerned, however, when I fail to hear how that relationship is working in their lives today.  One of David’s most remarkable declarations in this psalm is that the blessings provided by his Shepherd-God are in place ‘all the days of my life.’

Be sure to make the observation that David’s great profession of faith is not, “The Lord was my Shepherd,” but that “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

When the Lord makes you to lie down and confess, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” you are also confessing that you are a sheep.  It’s  not very flattering when God tells us we are like sheep.  Sheep are not very smart… they are so ignorant they are completely helpless and hopeless without their shepherd. Yet, the Word of God clearly tells us that God wants to hear us agree with His appraisal of ourselves and confess, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”  (Isaiah 53:6)

Years ago, I was out of bed at an early hour.  When my wife woke up, she asked why I was getting up at 4:30a.m.  I told her what I had read during my devotions: “When you wake up, get up, and when  you get up, do something for God and for His lambs!”  She responded, “baa!”  She was reminding me of something busy pastors often forget – that she and our five children are also His lambs.

Psalm 23 is filled with sheep talk that shows us that God wants to hear every one of us say, “baa!”

Dick Woodward, from Psalm 23 Sheep Talk

 

 


Prescription for a Comeback

September 12, 2013

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness…”  (Psalm 23: 3)

What is considered by some to be the greatest chapter in the Bible is the best description ever written of what the relationship of a human being with God can be.  I call this psalm “Sheep Talk” because it’s like a sheep is telling us what a great Shepherd he has.  The opening statement of the sheep is the key to the relationship.  When the Lord is his Shepherd he has multiple blessings.  According to the second verse this relationship is established when his Shepherd makes him lie down. When he gets up again he loses those blessings.

He is telling us this has happened and he needs a spiritual comeback.  The prescription for his comeback is that his Shepherd leads him in the paths of righteousness.  This is the second time he uses the word “leads.” His Shepherd not only leads him beside still waters but when he needs restoration he is led in the paths of righteousness.  The second time he uses this word it is a Hebrew word for “drives me” into what is right.

By application, when we need a comeback we should not seek a cheap one.  We should cooperate with our Shepherd as He drives us into the paths of what is right, perhaps for several years, until He restores our soul.  I personally experienced this kind of comeback in the early eighties that lasted nearly a decade.

Rick Warren said “We’re all in recovery.  What do you think the word ‘salvation’ means?”  Do you need a spiritual comeback?  Don’t look for a cheap one.  Ask God to show you the paths of righteousness that will restore your soul.