- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
~ Psalm 23 ~ Spiritual Journey From the Beginning to the End of the Psalms ~
The Lord is the Good Shepherd!
THE FAITHFUL GOOD SHEPHERD
~ Psalm 23 ~ Spiritual Journey From The Beginning To The End Of The Psalm ~
The 23rd Psalm is the most universally recognized Psalm of intrinsic exquisite beauty! It is indeed clear as it candidly speaks of the magnificently beautiful relationship between the Lord and His people. This Psalm is the infallible inspired Word of God. Jesus’ relationship with us is that of an eternal, loving devoted Shepherd with His sheep. In this precious Psalm one can discover everything that you will possibly ever need. It is an awe-inspiring, brilliantly breath taking, exhilarating Psalm entrenched with Hope!
GOD WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE AND TAKE YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO BE... Here we learn that one can “dwell in the House of the Lord Forever,” once we truly accept Him within our hearts as Lord & Savior! PRAISE GOD!
Here the Psalmist David the second King of Israel confesses that he wants for nothing because in the LORD. He has discovered all that he will ever need in the Lord. He is self-assured, confident and thoroughly resolved that the Lord’s presence is with Him. Not because of who he is but because of who The Lord is! There is a genuine irrefutable heartfelt connection exuded here. David's trust is endowed by his immutable guarantee that he can totally have complete confidence in the Lord!
We too must cultivate this kind of bond with The Lord where we can be totally secure in Him. David is aware of the watchful care of the Lord around him. There is absolutely nothing that He is not aware of. The Lord is Omniscient; meaning all knowing. He knows everything about everyone everywhere. How Awesome! This beautiful song to the Lord is a testament of David’s trust in the Lord. David knows without doubt that The Lord is unequivocally able to provide for him. This does not infer that God will give us everything that we want! It does indicate that everything that we need God already has! It is our needs and wants that we must learn to distinguish and differentiate between.
David was known as the greatest King to ever reign over Israel. He amassed an enormous plethora of wealthy material possessions that he stored up for his son Solomon who actually built the first Temple for the Lord.
King Solomon, David's son, reigned over Israel during what is known as “The Golden Years.” He is recognized as the wisest man to have ever lived. David himself was anointed king at a very early age by the Prophet Samuel. It is David who is infamously known for his triumphant victory over the giant Goliath. Goliath was a mighty champion that terrified and defeated many. He was feared by all... But not by David. David faced him fearlessly and stated: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the Name of The LORD Almighty The GOD of the armies of Israel, that you have defied. This day The LORD will hand you over to me and l will strike you down and cut your head off…” I Samuel 17.
As a boy David himself was a humble shepherd. Shepherding is one of the oldest professions in the world. It is here David learned the significant importance of a trusting relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. He knew that sheep were somewhat smart but quite docile and they are totally dependent upon the shepherd. They exude meekness and strength yet need guidance. The shepherd hovers close by observing the sheep. What is so incredible about sheep is; you cannot make them do something that is contrary to their nature. Sheep are gregarious. Once they are tamed they cannot return to the wild. The shepherd uses a staff that is used to pull the sheep back or protect them from wolves! It is a sign of authority! He allows the sheep the freedom to get into interesting situations but always willing to help them find their way back to the right path…With the Lord in our lives we have access to everything that we will ever need for life & living. In the story of Moses we can find this to be true! Moses was given a staff that could change into whatever he wanted. God allowed this to be because his staff was a sign that the Lord was with him!. "Thy rod and and thy staff they comfort me!"
The Bible teaches us that the Lord is the Good Shepherd. He is able to fully equip us with everything that we will ever need. Listen attentively with your spiritual ears. “May the GOD of Peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His Will, and may He work in us what is pleasing in HIM through JESUS CHRIST, to whom be glory forever and ever AMEN!” Hebrews 13.
We live in a material world and there is a vast display of people, possessions, places and things before us. However we must learn to properly engage and relate to all of it. As sheep we are often ignorant to the deeper meaning of things. There is a tendency to get in situations, entangled with difficult people as well as caught up in some extraordinary complicatedness that are too difficult to handle. Therefore we are in constant need of our loving Shepherd to lead, guide, direct and protect us “through the valley of the shadow of death!” God always wants what is best for us!
It is very important that each of us build ongoing personal up close and personal intimate relationships with the Lord. The world has nested itself within the midst of God's Church. Unknowingly many of the ways of the world and some corporate practices are embraced. Especially moreso in this current day and age. To say the least there is much happening about us.
We live in a material world. Everything we see is actually material. Therefore the Church at large too must ask is this or that necessary? Is it right to fleece the people of God for money for whatever is desired? This is true rather it be for tithes and or offerings. We should not encourage a money changer attitude among God's people. "God loves a cheerful giver" The Word is full of Wisdom that instructs His Church regardless as to your position. There are times when the elders, ministers, priests, pastors, apostles and disciples erred. There are leaders within God's Church who feel whatever they say is how it should be. Their vision is God ordained therefore... Pray for Discernment! The point is who determines who is too material? No doubt the "Perilous Times" are upon us. We all are to trust God with all our hearts for whatever we need. We do not have to compromise His values in order to do so.. He will also graciously give us some of our wants.
According to IHS global a company of worldwide experts that shapes our business landscape and is known for its reputable significance: “The problematic combination of private-sector deleveraging, public-sector austerity and the lack of confidence in political leaders’ ability to navigate these choppy waters will continue to plague the United States and Europe. The US economy can be expected to muddle through. Unfortunately, Europe will not be so lucky. Meanwhile, China’s economy is slowing and there is growing anxiety about the government’s ability to engineer another soft landing… They also forecast: “…While there are many risks facing the global economy, two look particularly threatening over the years. The first is the possibility of a financial meltdown in the Euro zone, with some countries exiting, or a messy default by one or more of the large Euro zone countries, especially Italy or Spain…" Notice what has happened to Greece they are amidst dire financial turmoil
We are also under a constant threat of war and more wars. Extreme terrorists with diabolical minds both foreign and within our own country as well... Isis continues to commit heinuous crimes of mass murders and even the beheading of innocent children and adults. Earthquakes and natural disasters abound! We are even expereincing a modern day famine in California with numerous extreme weather conditions all across America. We universally continue to experience at pandemic proportions extreme climatic happenings beyond the control of man. A plethora of shootings throughout the land in our schools on campuses and yes the horrific shooting of nine killed during a Bible Study! Lets not forgt those killed and maimed in the movie theather in Colorado. The mass shooting in Las Vegas Nevada; 57+ killed, hundreds shoot, trampled and maimed. The list continues. No doubt there is reason for concern. Lord Help Us!
We are living in interesting times. Yet we can still rest assured as we look to the Lord who is The Good Shepherd to provide for us! There is nothing new under the sun. The Word is full of many times when there were famines, wars, terrorists, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions as well as pestilence ravaging the land and yet the Lord provided for His people. In the very next Psalm we learn that: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! The world and everything in it!” His Word is true! In Him we can discover everything that we will ever need! Even in the midst of an unstable economy that is now trying to progress forward. Know that there is NEVER anything or anyone lacking in Heaven!!!
Book of Praise Lesson Highlights
“A Psalm of David”
Theme: GOD is seen as a loving caring Shepherd and a dependable Guide. However we must follow GOD and obey His commands. He is our only Hope for eternal life and security.
In order to fully realize the benefits of this splendidly spectacular passage of scripture you must first accept the Lord into your heart as your Shepherd! This allows His Holy Spirit to illuminate His Word and open up our understanding so we can recieve the intended message. This world that we live in was spoken into existence through the Lord. He is the Master Architect and Chief Designer of it all. He graciously allows us to inhabit it for a season. It is here on earth we all learn about life. Having the Lord as Shepherd assures of his constant presence
We in turn must spend time developing an ongoing relationship with Him and invite Him into the messiness of our lives. It really is best to not just wait until there is a problem or need. There is an indescribable Peace that one can attain by keeping in daily contact with Him. This way you will not stray too far… Whenever necessary He can lead, guide, protect and restore your soul! Then you can truly say: “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides quiet waters, He restores my soul.”
The Lord is always available and willing to guide us! We must be willing to follow. The Lord is able to supply a calmness and serenity like no other! There is a constant gentle tugging at our souls. Our conscious becomes awakened to what is right and wrong like a gentle stream that flows. It constantly alerts us. There is peacefulness that can surround us even in the midst of threat of danger because our heart is at Peace with the Lord! He lovingly guides us through and down the much less traveled straight and narrow path that leads to Him! “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake."
Although at times we are vulnerable we must not be ignorant that there are people, forces, principalities and situations that want to cause us harm. They often vehemently fight for our attention in order to pull us off course and away from our Shepherd! Know that satan will use whomever is willing, he is clever and deceptive and seeks to deceive those who are unaware of his many tactics... he has even sown tares among the people of God. Pray for discernment! It is important to know that God will never lead us to do anything that goes against His principles. It is important to KNOW HIS WORD for yourself!
There is much danger about us in this 21st century because there is so much support to do the things that go contrary to His Word! In an ever changing world we are encouraged and often applauded for going against the principles of His Word! Many often feel that they are offering unconditional love but are in fact fostering an unhealthy dependency. This keeps them tethered to their issues rather than delivered! God is able! He can and will deliver you! God wants us to "Finally, be strong in the LORD and in HIS mighty POWER! Put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD so that you can take a STAND against the devils' schemes." Ephesians 6. Today one must become more discerning to know when something or someone is not of GOD! The masses deem some of God's principles archaic, inflexible and out of date. Many denominations feel their particular traditions are the only way. Not realizing that when He allowed His Word to be written by inspired men He knew then what we know now! How amazing, Denominations were established because of division and congregations spitting.
GOD'S WORD is timeless! It is our much needed spiritual food! We must reach out to others and encourage them to get to know the Lord! We want to encourage them to KNOW GOD & HIS WORD. The GOSPEL'S main them should ALWAYS be ABOUT HIS LIVING WORD; CHRIST JESUS, HIS HOLY SPIRIT; HIS COMFORTER, SALVATION BY HIS GRACE & ETERNAL LIFE WITH THEM IN HEAVEN. We are to compel them to "COME TO JESUS!" "We are the sheep of HIS pasture!" We therefore as believers must continually SEEK HIS WILL and HIS WAY above ALL others!"
God is Omniscient and there is nothing that He does not know. Past, Present or Future! Time is something HE created for us to keep record within. But He is Eternal! When He laid out His principles for us to live by in His WORD He knew that mankind would deter from them. He has provided for us with numerous illustrations of what happens whenever we or anyone else decides to do “what is right in their own eyes!” Just like then it resulted in chaos just as it has now.
It was through mankind that death entered into this world. It was satan’s influence from the beginning in the garden that convinced Eve to go against what God had said not to do… The rest is history. When we confess The Lord as our Savior His Holy Spirit comes to abide within us! We can then call upon Him as Savior & Lord to help us 24/7. Rather than be fearful or become disobedient we can choose to be comforted as we draw nigh to Him. Growing in His Grace is a lifetime process. We can look to Him with confidence knowing that He is able. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." The earth is; "The Valley of the Shadow of Death." Having the Lord as Shepherd assures of his constant presence in any and every situation HE CAN LEAD YOU BY THE STILL WATERS...
Never underestimate evils ability to cloak itself. It hovers looking for a weak link or entry point to wreak havoc in the lives of God’s children. It is divisive and wants to divide God's Church, marriages, families and friendships and relationships! It wants to reshuffle your life with such disarray that you feel hopeless! It wants you to mistake evil for GOOD! Sadly enough to say that there are those who allow his imps to undermine good established relationships and cast doubt and knit deception and gloom where there was once cohesiveness and trust… None of us are immune to it as long as we are on this side of heaven. In the LORD there is ALWAYS HOPE. Thank you Lord for spiritual discernment!
Everyone is transparent to the Lord. Nothing is hidden to Him about anything or anyone. This is why we so need JESUS for direction, The beauty of the Lord is He will give you His discernment to guide you through the tempestuous turbulence that often appears in life. We can emerge stronger as we lean and depend on Him. Know that God will be there for you Sunday through Monday 24/7, January through December! THE LORD IS OMNIPRESENT! The LORD is the GOOD SHEPHERD! There is nothing too difficult, or too complex for Him to handle! The Lord’s promise to never leave nor forsake us is true. We can always trust God to be God!!
It is crucial that we stay in constant contact with the Lord! To pray unceasingly, meditate upon His Word and embrace His principles for life and living each and every day! God does not want us to just legalistically know the scriptures! He wants us to embrace them within our hearts to give us life! To sustain and keep us in and through spiritual warfare, grief, sickness, pain, depression, sorrows and distress. He also wants us to cry out to Him knowing that He will sustain us! To give us Hope and make our Joy full and have complete TRUST in HIM!
God wants His spiritual as well as material Blessings to abound within all our lives! Despite those who attempt to make life difficult for us and cast hurdles in our path; He will and can provide a way out of no way. It is in times like this that He gets the Glory! It is proof of His Divine Favor! God is gracious and His provisions are often in abundance! His Blessings are not necessarily tangible but always precious and priceless! His anointing upon our life becomes evident as we become steadfast and unmovable as we allow Him His place in our lives! He wants His anointing upon us to flow from our lives into the lives of others! The anointing is customarily symbolized by a fragrant oil or perfume being lavished upon a person. It represents His protection and presence! “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
GOD IS a GOOD GOD! He is the "GREAT I AM!" He wants what is best for each of us! Life is about trials and error discovering what His will is for us! Remember as the Good Shepherd He promises to provide for His sheep! When we wander away from Him it is hard to feast at His table of unlimited Blessings! When we neglect to spend time in His Word and in prayer it is harder to distinguish His voice! His Word tells us “to be Still and Know!”
With God in our life the impossible becomes possible! Those who look upon us wonder how could that be! Committing our lives to the service of the Lord is one of the most honorable things that we can do. We must live out His principles within our own lives daily. His Holy Spirit will convict us when we err. We must readily repent and keep moving forward towards Him! Seeking His face and allowing ourselves to become a conduit from which His grace flows from heart to heart! At some point life on this side of heaven will end! But through Jesus Christ we have the Victory! He has opened the floodgates and the passageway to Eternal Life has been made. "He is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!" After we complete our journey of life on this side of heaven we transcend this life and live with Him in Heaven throughout eternity!
God truly is Goodness & Love! "HIS mercy endures forever!" As children of God we can look forward to the day when we each meet Him face to face! In the meantime “it is in Him we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Praise GOD! I am truly most thankful to say "The LORD is my Shepherd...!"
This Psalm concludes saying: “Surely GOODNESS & LOVE will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of The LORD forever!”
- ~ PSALM 1 ~ Spiritual Journey From The Beginning To The End Of The Psalm ~
The Spiritual Journey of The Psalm begins!