Saturday, September 3, 2016
THE SHEPHERD PSALM
Dearly Beloved, THE SHEPHERD PSALM "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want...” (Psalm 23:1 NIV). This psalm is one of the most popular psalms. Many people have learnt it by heart right from their childhood. The thrust of the psalm is the trust in the Lord who is like a shepherd to the composer of the psalm, David. David, being once a shepherd, knew the relationship of the shepherd to the sheep. He knew how the sheep usually rely on the guidance, protection and provision of the shepherd. He therefore applied that relationship and reliance on himself and God. Because God was his shepherd, David said he would not be in want. This does not mean that he would have all that he might selfishly desire, but all he needed. Ordinarily, sheep need two basic things - "green pasture" where they can find good food, and a place where they can conveniently drink water. So anyone who puts his total trust in God will experience both physical and spiritual nourishment from God. Such person can claim the promise in Philippians 4:19: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (NIV. See also Matthew 6:33). Apart from divine nourishment, anyone who trusts God will experience divine restoration. As the shepherd leads his sheep to quiet waters for rest and cleansing, likewise, the Lord will restore or refresh the souls of all who trust in Him. That is, He will provide forgiveness and peace to all who follow Him. The Lord will lead all who trust in Him in the right way. He will guide them in all their ways and make sure that they do not go astray. Even if they mistakenly do, He will, because of His reputation, bring them back to the fold (see Luke 15:3-7). Closely related to this is God's protection for all who put their trust in Him. If such people find themselves in dangerous situation, they need not fear any evil. The reason is that God is with them to protect them just as the shepherd would use his rod and staff to protect his sheep from such situation. Believers in God are never in situations that the Lord is not aware of, for He never leaves or forsakes His people (see Hebrews 13:5). Verse 5 corroborates the affirmation of David in the latter part of verse 1 - the Lord will provide for him. As a good host provide for the comfort of his guest, so the Lord will provide abundantly for all those who trust in Him, even in the presence of their enemies! Having realized that the goodness, love, and mercy of God would be with him throughout his life, David, in response to all these, resolved to always be in God's presence forever. Jesus Christ said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11 NIV. See also Isaiah 40:11). What a great privilege to have Him as our Great Shepherd! However, have you made Him your shepherd? Are you putting your total trust in Him? Be like David! Put your total trust in Him. You will never be in wants. Amen! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray that you will learn to rely on God so as not to be in want.