Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

AZ Conference 2008. Part 1.
The Lord is the One shepherding me. Psa 23.

Friday, January 11, 2008

If Adam were a rock n roll singer, what would his greatest hit have been?

The problem is that most people – Christians included – live their lives as sheep without a Shepherd.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Psalm 23 is a place to live.

It is a poem you can lie down in.

What is God like?

What is the Lord like?

Anyone who has a shepherd must be –
a sheep.

Psalm 23 was written during the Absalom revolution, when David had fled from Absalom. This was the lowest point of his life.

He also watched his newborn baby die.
Two of his sons turned against him and tried to steal his throne (Absalom and Adonijah).

At one point in his life, David lived as Public Enemy #1 for ten years.

This is particularly a psalm of grace orientation.

There are two great metaphors in this psalm: the shepherd and the sheep (PSA 23:1-4) and the host and the guest
(PSA 23:5-6).

Both of these metaphors are designed to teach us the divine initiative of grace.

Phillip Keller sees the Psalm as encompassing a year in the life of the flock and its Shepherd.

There is a switch from the third person “He” to the second person “You” in verses 4 and 5.

Finally, on the subject of structure, the 23rd Psalm is a perfect construction of the faith rest drill.

Verse 1 claims a Biblical promise.

Verses 2-5 adopt a Biblical rationale that expounds on the promise.

Verse 6 draws a doctrinal conclusion that solves the problem.

Each of these 3 Psalms – 22,23,24 – portrays a different work of the Lord Jesus Christ for His people.

Psalm 22 is about the Suffering Servant Savior.
Psalm 24 is about the Conquering King who will come.
Psalm 23 is about the Shepherd King at the Right Hand of the Father.

Psalm 22 sketches a prophetic picture of the death of the Savior on the Cross.

JOH 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Psalm 23 deals with what the writer of Hebrews describes to be the great shepherd resurrected for the sheep,HEB 13:20.

Psalm 24 tells of the chief Shepherd who will return to reward those who care for the sheep, 1PE 5:4.

Will you experience the joy and rest of the present work of the Shepherd King on your behalf, as described in Psalm 23?

PSA 23:1 “A song of David. The Lord [Jesus Christ] is the one who keeps on shepherding me; I cannot lack anything.”

Hebrew verb – raah – qal participle = denotes both taking care of and also ruling over, in a relationship that is close, intimate.

The noun function by itself emphasizes positional truth – the Lord IS our Shepherd, whether we live our lives that way or not.

The verb aspect points to an active, ongoing relationship in time.

First, we are told that the author is David.

Next, this David tells us that the Lord is David’s shepherd.

He directs my life. He provides for me. He rescues me. He keeps me on the right paths.

Isagogics = examining the historical setting in which the scripture was written.

David was the greatest king that Israel ever had in the Old Testament.
As a youth, David had served as a shepherd.

Here we see God’s grace policy in the promotion of David.

The use of oil as a ritual illustrates the reality of promotion. This same element appears in PSA 23:5.

The lion and the bear victories were rehearsals for the Goliath crisis and David beginning to fulfill his personal sense of destiny.

LUK 16:10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much;”

In 1SA 21:1-10, David willfully sinned and lied and because of his lie the entire city of Nob was destroyed by King Saul and wiped out; eighty-five priests were murdered because of David’s lie.

In 1SA 21:11-18, he “faked madness” and made the enemy believe he was crazy, and as a result hundreds died.
Thousands were killed in battle because David pretended to be crazy in the city of Gath.

In 2SA 6:1-13, he did not honor the word of God.
He purposely disobeyed God’s command about the ark!

Then David failed in his responsibility as the king, 2SA 11:1.

While he was in Jerusalem in 2SA 11:2-27, he ended up in certain “shocking” sins.
He committed adultery,
He got a man drunk,
He committed murder,
And he willfully lied.

In 1Ch 21, David rejected the promises of God and even questioned the faithfulness of God.

Then we have his failure to forgive completely his son Absalom.

He has children by them whose names are not given; they are mentioned as a group of bastards in 1Ch 31-1:9.

There were also many unnamed wives at Jerusalem, 2SA 5:13-16; 1CH 3:5-8; 1CH 14:4-7.

1CH 14:3 Then David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters.

Polygamy is prohibited by DEU 17:14-17.

It invites all of us, as suffering sinners to listen to his story, discover fresh hope, and see that in fulfilling our personal sense of destiny we should not get shocked by our sins and failures.

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