Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

A man after God's own heart; Psa 23 Recap.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eccl 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

If Adam were a rock n roll singer, his greatest hit would have been
“(I can’t get no) Satisfaction”

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

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

The one thing that has never occurred to us is to simply stop.

Psalm 23 is a place to live.
It is a poem you can lie down in.

What is God like?
“The Lord is my Shepherd”

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 (verses 1-4) and the host and the guest (verses 5-6).

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

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

A man by the name of W. Phillip Keller wrote a book called “A Shepherd Looks at 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.”
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.

But Psalm 23 is not some cute little poem.

Our fancy name for that is 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, PSA 23:5.

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. 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 in2SA 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.
We have his failure to forgive completely his son Absalom.

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.

The shepherd was everything to the sheep: guide, physician, and protector. So many of God’s men in the Old Testament were shepherds. In addition to David, we have Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, and Moses, to name a few.

The shepherd constantly sought out sources of fresh grass with a water supply nearby. The sheep needed 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

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