Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Jehovah my Shepherd

Psalm 23, In our study of this familiar Psalm, we will find a number of encouragements given to us by the Holy Spirit as David penned these words so long ago. They are just as fresh and just as encouraging to us today. We see that David has described for us the Lord as the Shepherd who protects and provides. The One who provides us with rest, refreshment, and restoration. He is the One who restores us and comforts us when we face the uncertainties of life. He provides for us in the midst of trials and difficulties, He enables us to serve Him, and He supplies abundantly more than we need.

Psalm 23:2-3

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

INTRODUCTION

Rest. "He maketh me to lie down."

Refreshment. "Beside still water."

Restoration. "He restoreth my soul."

Redirection. "He leadeth me"

I. Rest "He maketh me to lie down."

A. Why does the Shepherd make the sheep rest? (Isa 55:8-9) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

1. Because the shepherd can see much farther than the sheep.

2. He can see the obstacles ahead that will require additional strength. (ie Mountains,valleys and danger)

3. God knows the end from the beginning.

4. He knows exactly what we need and He knows exactly when we need it.

5. He does not force, but uses gentle persuasion.

B. Sheep will not lie down:

1. When there is fear from without . . . wolves and wild beasts.

2. Problems within the fold. (one in disobedience can cause the rest to be unruly).

3. They are hungry, they must be satisfied.

II. Refreshment "He leadeth me beside still water."

A. The sheep follow because they know the shepherd's voice.

(John 10:4) "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice."

1. God directs through His Word.

(2 Tim 3:16-17) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

2. We must know His Word if we are to allow Him to direct us.

(John 8:32) "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

B. The still water speaks of refreshment.

1. Not a raging river.

2. And not a stagnant pool.

3. "Still waters run deep"

III. Restoration: "He restoreth my soul."

A. Restoreth.

1. Hebrew means to renew or bring back to a place once enjoyed.

2. The doctrine of restoration is taught throughout the Bible.

3. All of God’s people need restoration from time to time.

B. What is it He restores?

(Psalm 51:9-10) "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.(10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

1. He restores my soul.

2. Hebrew: "Replacing or providing what is needed in order to make someone or something whole and complete."

(Psalm 51:12) "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."

C. As sheep, we also are prone to wander.

1. He restores us to our position in the flock.

2. He restores us to the protection of the fold.

3. He restores us to the place of fellowship.

4. Example of the prodigal son.

D. God restores by:

1. Warning.

2. Exhortation.

3. Trouble.

4. Chastening.

5. Peter was restored by a look.

6. David was restored by judgment.

7. Abraham was restored by trouble.

IV. Redirection: "He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

A. Following our rest, refreshment, and restoration comes His redirection.

1. Where does He leads us? Paths of righteousness.

2. Why does He leads us? For his name sake.

B. 'Paths' indicates progression.

1. The Christian life is compared to a walk, a run, and a battle.

2. For each of these pictures we must see that there is to be progression made.

3. God's desire is to lead us into the paths that we are to take.

(Psalm 25:10) "All the Paths of the Lord Are Mercy and Truth unto Such as Keep His Covenant and His Testimonies."

4. Short cuts often prove the longest way around.

(Exodus 13:17) " and it Came to Pass, When Pharaoh Had Let the People Go, That God Led Them Not Through the Way of the Land of the Philistines, Although That Was Near; for God Said, Lest Peradventure the People Repent When They See War, and They Return to Egypt:"

C. "For his name's sake"

1. God has connected His name and glory with the walk and conduct of His people.

2. It is a calamity, a shame for a shepherd to lose a sheep.

3. The Shepherd's reputation is at stake.

4. God has given us His Word.

5. He will continue to lead us in path's of righteousness because we bear His name.

6. He will not loose one single sheep.

(John 10:28-30) "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (30) I and my Father are one."

CONCLUSION:

Rest, Refreshment, Restoration, and Redirection.