Some of the most familiar words in the Bible are, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” These words are also some of the most comforting words God has spoken to His children. Psalm 23 has been read at many, many, funeral services probably because God promises in this portion of scripture to be with us in death or in the shadow of death. But the LORD is not only with us when we face death or the prospect of death, but in life. This psalm tells us He provides for, leads and protect His people. And like a good shepherd who brings back a wandering sheep, He restores our souls! We have a wonderful Shepherd! If He is not “your” personal shepherd, come under His care today! Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The good shepherd who attended sheep was willing to die for the sheep defending them from wild animals and other dangers. When Jesus said he gives His life for the sheep, He was referring to His death on the cross for our sins. Of His life he said, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:18). Jesus had the authority to lay down His life and the power or authority to take it again – that is the power to come forth alive from the dead. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him and He gives them eternal life. Will you turn to Christ from your sins today and believe in Him as your own personal Savior and Lord?
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).
Questions for Psalm 23
1. What is the significance of the personal pronoun “my” in the LORD is my Shepherd?
2. Why is Lord spelled with all capital letters – LORD?
3. Does “I shall not want” mean I will have everything I want? If not, what does it mean?
4. This psalm speaks of the shepherd’s relationship to this sheep to illustrate the LORD’s relationship to His people. What do each of these activities of the shepherd for his sheep indicate about the LORD’s care of us?
He makes me to lie down in green pastures –
He leads me beside the still waters –
He restores my soul –
He leads me in the right paths for His name’s sake –
5. What is the shadow of death?
6. Does God promise here to save us from death? What does He promise us when the shadow is being cast over us by death? How is this promise a comfort? How is it a comfort in these days of Covid-19?
7. In verse 5, the relationship is changed from shepherd and sheep to the relationship between _________ and __________.
8. What does it mean that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives?