Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

"I am with you always" Psa 23 recap. Part 3.

Friday, January 18, 2008

PSA 23:3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness because of His reputation.

A “cast sheep” is an old English shepherd’s term for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself.

If the shepherd does not arrive on the scene in time, the sheep will die.

He will search for hours to restore that sheep to its feet and to the flock, and is in a race against time and the buzzards.

In reality, the Lord has the same concern and compassion for cast men and women as the shepherd has for cast sheep.

This is the principle of being renewed and refreshed through recovering from sin and its effects.

“He restores my soul” points to the problem solving device of rebound.

It is the removal of guilt, the restoration of the filling of the Spirit, the recovery of fellowship with God, and the resulting forward progress in the spiritual life.

There does come a time though that if the wandering becomes a destructive habit, the shepherd will break the sheep’s leg - for its own protection, to keep it from destroying itself.

After the leg heals, the sheep has learned an important lesson: it stays close to the shepherd’s side.

ISA 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
PRO 16:25 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
PSA 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

So right here we have problem solving device #4 - grace orientation
and problem solving device #5 - doctrinal orientation.

These are the many problem-solving devices that He gives us to help us solve our problems.
He leads the way. Nothing is ours that was not first His.
Grace depends on God’s reputation not ours.

The paths of righteousness speak of the pre-designed plan of God designed for us in eternity past.

In verse 1, the Lord from logistical grace provides everything that we need so that we have no wants.
In verse 2, He provides provisions for us that cause us to rest.
In verse 3, He provides for us rebound for restoration and a pre-designed plan to live in.

PSA 23:4 “In addition to this, when I walk through a death-shadowed valley, I cannot fear evil [the manner of dying]; because You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

It is so often in the valleys of our lives that we find the sweetest refreshment and fellowship alone with God.

Shepherds would not take their flock where they had not already been themselves.

To walk indicates the steady advance of a soul which knows its road, knows its destiny, resolves to follow the path, feels quite safe and secure, and therefore is perfectly cool, calm, and collected.

In addition to living grace, the Lord has provided dying grace.
The dark side of the shadow is the experience of dying.
The valley is the place of shelter and transport.

Death is merely a shadow.
Jesus Christ has conquered death.
Where there is a shadow, there must be light somewhere nearby.

“Evil” refers to anything related to dying.
Evil - ra - used in JER 39:12 for injury, in Amos 6:3 for a time of distress, in ISA 45:7 for disaster.

God picks the time, the manner, and the place of your dying, so you don’t have to worry about it. Confidence in God creates courage in the face of evil. We can have no fear when going through our very own death-shadowed valley, because the Lord Jesus Christ goes with us.

This is David applying dying grace, occupation with Christ, and a personal sense of destiny to the problem of death or disaster.

MAT 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

If He is with me through death, what else is there to be afraid of?
Your rod which is divine discipline and your staff, divine deliverance, comfort me.
The rod was used to discipline the sheep, while the staff was used to deliver and protect the sheep.

The purpose of divine discipline is to lovingly bring us back into line.

Another interesting use of the rod in the Shepherd’s hand was to examine and count the sheep.

The good shepherd would from time to time make a close and careful examination of each individual sheep.

PSA 19:12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

The staff, more than any other piece of equipment, identifies the shepherd as a shepherd.

Whereas the rod conveys his authority, power, and discipline, his staff speaks of all that is longsuffering and kind.

First, he uses the staff to draw sheep together in an intimate relationship.
Second, the shepherd uses the staff to reach out and grab an individual sheep and draw it close to himself for intimate examination.
Third, the staff is used for guiding sheep.

The Lord is there to guide us and direct us even in the most minute details of daily living.

In a word, the staff is for the sheep’s comfort.

Most of our trouble is of our own making.

Jesus Christ is the host and David is the guest.

The mature believer always has hostile enemies. No one who consistently follows Lord Jesus Christ will avoid this. JOH 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

According to the Bedouin law of hospitality, once a traveler is received into the shepherd’s tent, and especially once the host has prepared a table, offered food before him, he is guaranteed protection from any enemies.

The table prepared in the presence of David’s enemies was the Host’s public announcement to them not to attempt to harm David in any way.

Food on the table refers to doctrine metabolized, forming the problem solving devices.

The anointing of the head with oil is a sign of promotion. God’s promotion of you is based on your spiritual life and cannot be canceled by the antagonism of others. If God does not promote you, you are not promoted. 1PE 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Execution of the PPOG for the church and subsequent glorification from God.
The distribution of escrow blessings for time and eternity.
Becoming an invisible hero with an invisible impact.

God promotes prepared believers. God is glorified by your promotion.These are the blessings from our escrow account for time which overflows. This cup is your very own soul and its capacity is built from Bible doctrine.1CO 2:9 but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

A good host provides three things: the prepared food (doctrine), the anointing of the honored guest (promotion), and the overflowing cup (blessing). Hospitality depends on the host, not the guest; this is a grace metaphor.

He is leading me to my destiny of becoming a spiritually mature believer.
He is leading me to enjoy a happy death.
He is leading me to a great forever after.

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