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The Lord is My Shepherd-King

Scripture: Psalm 23

I. The Lord my shepherd-king provides for me.

A. Perhaps, when David thought about how God had provided for all his needs as his shepherd (vs. 1), he thought back on how God had been a shepherd to Israel. Deuteronomy 2:7: “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” Israel lacked for nothing in the wilderness. And so did David.

B. This name Lord or Yahweh is the covenant name that God used to reveal Himself to Moses. The words Israel used when God kept His covenant promises are similar to David’s words in Psalm 23. Exodus 15:13: “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.” What God had done for Israel, God was now doing for Israel’s king David in providing abundantly (vs. 2).

II. The Lord my shepherd-king protects me.

A. God the shepherd in verse 3 leads David in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. God was directing David where he should go. He was leading David in the righteous way, which is the way home to God. Verse 4 reminds us that there is plenty of evil around us on this way. We will go through dangerous places where it seems like death itself is casting a shadow over us. But David said we don’t have to be afraid. We can be fearless because God is with us (vs. 4).

B. It is not just God the Father who is our shepherd. Jesus, the Son of David, is also our shepherd. Jesus says in John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Like all shepherds Jesus walks in front of His sheep. Jesus entered into the valley of the shadow of death before us. Because Jesus is our shepherd, He will lead us to the place where all God’s promises are realized, all needs met, and all fears gone.

III. The Lord my shepherd-king pursues me.

A. King David had been pursued for much of his life by a lot of bad guys. But do you know who else pursued David? The Lord pursued David (vs. 6). And no man chased David as persistently and as effectively as God did. The Lord is pursuing you to be close to you. Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 12:9: “for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you.” Jesus is also leading you to a Promised Land. He is pursuing you so that you might spend eternity with Him in paradise.

Rejoice that Jesus is providing for you, protecting you and pursuing you.

The Psalms
Commentaries by Allen Ross, J.A. Motyer, James Hamilton Jr., Christopher Ash & Gerald Wilson

Sermon Discussion Questions

  1. What difference does it make to you personally to know that Jesus has gone through the valley of death for you?
  2. How does Psalm 23 make you feel about your future?
  3. If we pray this psalm for all of our brothers and sisters in the church, what kinds of things will we pray for the people in our church and in the broader Christian community?