This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series A Psalm of David
In this series, we will be looking at how the Lord guides and protect us from danger and fears of any kind. In God’s Word, the sheep here is a parallel and is actually referring to us. When we are down or weary, it is God who keeps us safe and gives us rest as exemplified in verse 2 (the text that is in bold and in italics). We may not see it in our natural eyes, but God holds us in His mighty arms and uplifts us from any harmful circumstances so that we may not fall beyond our limit and capacity of handling the situation.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
TIPS FROM A SHEEPHERDER
In A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Philip Keller shares his experiences in raising sheep. He discovered rather quickly that “sheep do not just take care of themselves … They require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care.”
He also found that sheep do not rest or lie down unless they are free from fear, free from tension with other sheep, free of flies or other pests, and free from hunger. Keller then points out how the Lord delivers us from fear (2 Timothy 1:7), tensions (Philippians 4:6-7), irritations of daily life (John 14:27), and spiritual hunger (John 6:35).
Regarding peaceful streams, Keller says there are three ways sheep quench their thirst: (1) licking up the morning dew; (2) drinking water drawn from deep wells; or (3) drinking from flowing streams. Once again there are parallels to the Christian life. The morning dew reminds us of our need for spiritual drink as we start each day; the deep wells remind us of what God supplies to deepen our spiritual life; and the flowing streams remind us of the work of the Holy Spirit (see John 7:39) to lead us into truth.
Let us look to our great Shepherd to provide for us and lead us where we need to go.