Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
AZ Conference 2008. Part 4. The Lord is the One shepherding me. Psa 23.
Saturday PM, January 12, 2008
Basic English translation – “The Lord takes care of me as His sheep; I will not be without any good thing.”
PSA 23:2 He causes me to lie down in pastures of choice grass; He leads me to waters of refreshment.
Lying down in pastures of choice grass is a picture of tranquility that results from using the three spiritual skills for learning doctrine.
Three spiritual skills:
1. The Filling of the Holy Spirit
2. The perception, metabolization, and application of Bible Doctrine
3. The deployment of the ten problem-solving devices on the FLOT of the soul
“Makes me lie down” – rabats – Hiphil imperfect stem. The hiphil is causative.
Here the Lord Jesus Christ causes the event of David – and by extension us – lying down in the pastures.
The green pastures represent the Word of God, the truth of Bible doctrine, which is the perfect food for our souls, just as tender grass is natural nutrition for sheep.
Being led to waters of refreshment refers to the application of doctrine to your life.
Sheep are so dumb that they have to be led into the barn at night.
When they fall over, they need assistance getting up.
Then their wool is filthy (cosmic system), and they need to be cleaned and brushed (rebound and the filling of the Holy Spirit).
For sheep to be at rest there must be a definite and complete sense of freedom from fear, tension, aggravations, and hunger.
The one thing that settles and reassures the sheep is the sight of their shepherd with them in the field.
What a sheep needs is the courage to trust and rely on the shepherd.
Sheep have what is called the “butting order.” It establishes the rank between sheep, who’s the boss and so forth down the line.
Under the provision of logistical grace, God provides everything that His sheep need to give them rest.
The still waters refer to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to the believer.
The soul of the unbeliever thirsts for the convincing ministry of the God the Holy Spirit that makes Gospel information understandable.
The soul of the believer thirsts for the water of the filling of the Spirit.
If not led to the good water supplies of clean, pure water, they will usually end up drinking from polluted potholes where they contract diseases and parasites.
PRO 25:26 Like a trampled spring and a polluted well Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
When the dabbling, the partying, the striving and the self-indulging are done, they face the same haunting, burning thirst within.
Drinking points to the non-meritorious function of believing.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is the water that is needed to digest the food of Bible doctrine.
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.
He came quickly and eagerly to restore the little people, like Zaccheus for example.
LUK 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
This is the principle of being renewed and refreshed through recovering from sin and its effects.
Restores – shub – polel or piel stem = to return, bring back, to restore, to refresh, or to repair.
The Lord brings my soul back, either from its errors (sin) or its wandering (evil or reversionism).
It is the removal of guilt, the restoration of the filling of the Spirit, the recovery of fellowship with God, and the forward progress of 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.
Keller writes that the shepherd must put together a pre-determined plan of action so the movement of the sheep will get them to the right destinations at the right times.
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.
If we are wise, we will follow when our Shepherd is leading us in the paths of righteousness.
The paths of righteousness include “lovingkindness and truth.”
What is God like?
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
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.
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.
Communion Service Arizona
The year of our Lord 2008
What are the attributes of God?
There is a God. He is not a concept. He is a real person. He is a being. He is someone we can get to know. He is someone with whom we can have a relationship.
He is someone with whom we can be intimate. In other words, He has attributes, essential and knowable qualities that make up His essence, His character, and His nature.
In numerology the number 10 is the number of perfection. Not coincidentally, God has 10 attributes that make up His perfect essence, character and nature, …easily memorable by using the abbreviation “JR SOOO LIVE”!
Psa 23 deals with what the writer of Hebrews describes to be the great shepherd resurrected for the sheep.
HEB 13:20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
Will you experience the joy and rest of the present work of the Shepherd King on your behalf?
The Shepherd gets His glory when His sheep are at rest!
Matt 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Obscure things are often parlayed by God into an answer or solution in our lives!
Look at communion. Look at the cross. How will He not also freely give us all things?!
Josh 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Ps 46:7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Deut 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
John 10:4 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
Ex 33:14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Deut 9:3 But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire.
This is our strong Shepherd; our Protector who understands our weakness, and our Warrior who blazes a path before us wherever He asks us to go.