Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
AZ Conference 2008. Part 2.
The Lord is the One shepherding me. Psa 23.
Friday, January 11, 2008
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.
David understood the needs of sheep and he had experienced the many cares of a shepherd.
Rather, the vantage point is the perspective of the sheep!
David compares himself to a creature that is weak, defenseless, and foolish.
He takes the Lord to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and in the end, his Everything.
What is the Lord like?
The shepherd was everything to the sheep: guide, physician, and protector.
So many of God’s men in the Old Testament were shepherds – David, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, and Moses, to name a few.
Flocks were a tremendous store of wealth in the times of the Bible.
Sheep provided wool, meat, and horn containers.
The shepherd constantly sought out sources of fresh grass with a water supply nearby.
The sheep need constant protection because there were plenty of dangers to the flock from the wild animals that came up from the jungle. Lions and bears were common.
It was well understood that a shepherd might not return alive from his season of shepherding.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the shepherd to all who believe in Him.
The shepherd had to fight back, because he had to make good any losses to the owners.
The shepherd was expected to count the sheep, one by one, calling each by its own name, both morning and evening, for he had to render an accounting for any that were missing.
He would talk to his sheep each day to pass the time, and it came about that they all learned to recognize his voice.
Shepherds also had to provide shelter, medication, aid in lambing time, and provision for lameness and weariness.
To protect himself and his flock from harm, the shepherd had weapons. He carried a heavy club, and this is what Psalm 23 calls a “rod.”
The shepherd was also equipped with a staff, which was not primarily a weapon although it was used as such on occasion.
When the sheep was tired or sick, the shepherd carried it on his shoulders.
When it was lost, the shepherd went to search for it.
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.
At night the shepherd gathered his sheep to a safe place called a fold where he kept watch. The fold offered protection against beasts, thieves, and the cold.
The shepherd would lay down across the one opening, effectively becoming a door for the sheep.
There might be under-shepherds who followed the flock to encourage the weary and aid the heavy-laden as well as the newborn lambs.
“Pastor” – EPH 4:11 – poimevna” – poimenas
– accusative plural masculine of poimen.
It comes from a root word meaning “to protect.”
It means a herdsman, especially a shepherd.
When used in the manner of a parable, it describes he to whose care and control others have committed themselves, and whose precepts they follow.
A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal. Its owner considers it valuable, and frequently it is bought with a substantial price.
The lot in life of any particular sheep depended on the type of man who owned it.
The sweetest word in verse 1 has to be the two letters “my”!
He bought me with His own blood. He absorbed the penalty for my sins.
The shepherd actually took on the lot of a lamb; God became man, to do this for me.
Who else would I want shepherding me?
Have I exchanged my stubborn insistence on being the captain of my soul for the satisfying adventure of following Him?
Do I really recognize His right to me?
Do I respond to His authority and acknowledge His ownership?
Do I find freedom and complete fulfillment in following His commands?
Do I sense a purpose and deep contentment because I am under His direction?
Those who live as if He really were their shepherd hear His Word and they follow Him.
(a) A sheep cannot guide himself.
(b) A sheep cannot clean himself apart from the shepherd.
(c) A sheep is helpless when injured.
(d) A sheep is defenseless.
(e) A sheep cannot find food or water.
(f) A sheep is easily frightened or panicked.
(g) While the sheep produces the wool, that wool belongs to the shepherd only.
Sheep are placed by God in creation to be a wonderful picture of God’s grace.
Sheep can’t do ANYTHING for the shepherd; it’s completely the other way around.
Abraham was a shepherd, as was Isaac and Jacob. Joseph too. And Moses – 40 years worth. And David of course.