The Bible says in Psalms 23:1, The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. One of the many benefits of giving your heart to Christ is that Jesus becomes your shepherd. Everyone needs a shepherd because we are like sheep. The Bible often compares human beings to sheep just like it does here in this great Psalm. We have the greatest shepherd of all who will take care of us. That is why David writes, I shall not want. This means that we will not lack anything that we need. Jesus will supply you with whatever you need according to His will for you.
The Bible says in Psalms 23:2, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. This verse is all about peace. One of the benefits of knowing Jesus as Savior is the peace that He alone can give. This verse speaks of lying down and being lead to still waters. It says in Romans 5:1, Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth. The world cannot find peace. That is one reason they are so often involved in such wild entertainments. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
The Bible says in Psalms 23:3, He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. The first two verses mention the fact that God will supply our material needs because we are promised that we will not lack and that we will be lead to green pastures. This verse promises that our spiritual needs will be met. A human being is both body and spirit, if we know Jesus as Savior. The spirit of a man can almost accidently turn away from God if our eyes are focused down to things on the earth. It takes an effort to look up and to keep looking up. It also takes divine intervention. We need help from God to look to Him. We need Him to come and touch our hearts. When we are promised that He will restore our soul, it means that the Lord will always be there to revive us and to supply our spiritual needs. By the way our spiritual needs are more important than our material needs.
We get restored to the Lord through confession of our sins to Him. Jesus always forgives. Once we are restored to the Lord and in fellowship with Him, we know that He is leading us. That is what a shepherd does: He leads His sheep. What happens to sheep that do not have a shepherd to lead them? They fall over a cliff, or the wolves get them, or some other terrible destiny awaits them. This life can be very dangerous. How wonderful it is to know that Jesus is leading your life by all the things that He allows to happen to it. If you are in fellowship with Jesus, you are not going your own way in life: you are being led by Him and His Spirit. It says in Romans 8:1, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Where will God lead us: in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. God wants us to do right because that is His nature. Be ye holy, for I am holy, saith the Lord. One reason that some people get involved in so much sin and ungodliness is because they lack the leading of the Spirit. The Spirit leads us on the right path. The Spirit leads us in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. God is jealous about His name. He wants His name to be honored and respected. God commanded, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. One way for Gods name to get respect is through His people. If His people are faithful, and if His people do the right thing, then Gods name will be honored and respected through them.
The Bible says in Psalms 23:4, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. The shadow of death is a good description of this life. We are in the shadow of death every day because of the temporary nature of life. Of course, there are some situations that are more dangerous than others. Because David was a man of war and had been in many violent situations, he certainly experienced the shadow of death in that dangerous way. Death is the last and greatest enemy of mankind. How can anyone be comforted when they have lost a friend or loved one? How can anyone be comforted if they contemplate their own certain demise that could come this very day? That is the value of the Gospel of Christ. There is a great comfort in knowing that Jesus is your Savior and that He will take you to heaven. There is a great comfort in knowing there will be a regathering with all those who have died and who have gone to be with Jesus. Make sure that you will be in that congregation by making sure that you have turned to Jesus and allowed Him to become your Shepherd.
The Bible says in Psalms 23:5, Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. This is a recognition of Gods many blessings in Davids life. If you serve the Lord, you will have enemies in this life, but God is able to take care of you even in the midst of those enemies. The anointing with oil refers to two things. It refers to the fact that you are chosen by God. He has a plan for you. Nothing and no one can keep Gods plan from being realized, as long as you keep following the Lord. Oil also symbolizes the Holy Spirit. We have the power of the Holy Spirit when we are in fellowship with Jesus, and so the evil ones have no power over us.
The Bible says in Psalms 23:6, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This is a verse that looks forward. It is very positive. Good things are going to happen to me in this life, and in the next life I will be in heaven forever. Can living be any better than that? David knew that he could count on good things coming from God because is a great Giver of good things. All good things come from God. That is why we should give thanks for everything that happens to us. Good things do not happen by accident: they are gifts from God to show us that He loves us. One of His gifts is mercy. We can always count on His mercy too. We will certainly need His mercy as long as we are in this life because even though we believe in Jesus, we are still sinners. The way to keep following Jesus and stay in fellowship with Him is to always confess your sins. It says in First John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
David said, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That is called the assurance of salvation. If you died today, do you know for sure that you will go to heaven? David knew. You can have this kind of assurance if you know two things. First you must know what the Bible says about how to be saved. It says in Romans 10:13, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. The name of the Lord is Jesus. One of the thieves who was crucified with Jesus called on Jesus and said, Lord, remember me when you come to your kingdom. Jesus answered, This day thou shalt be with me in paradise. We cannot earn the salvation of our soul through good works, or baptism, or anything else. That is why it says in Titus 3:5, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us. The second thing to know is that you yourself have truly called on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation and forgiveness. If you have, then you can have the same confidence and assurance that David had that you will be in heaven forever because of Jesus and the price that He paid on the cross. You can say just like David, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Copyright; 2018 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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