Psalm 23 Updated

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[Introduction] Tonight, we will be continuing our series through the Psalms, and we will be looking at a very familiar Psalm, Psalm 23.
[Reading and Prayer] Let us read the Psalm and ask the Lord for guidance.
[Introduction/Illustration] Do you remember when you got your first car? It was shiny, new and you wanted to protect it with your life.
However, after sometime it was not new anymore and you stopped being excited about it. Familiarity kills doesn’t it? I pray that as we go through Psalm 23 that is not your heart towards this text.
[Analytical Questions] You might have heard it in funerals and places to remind us that we must be joyful and not sorrowful. However, is that the heart of this Psalm? That we must be joyful and thankful all the time? No.
[Proposition] Instead, our text will show us that amidst suffering, pain and rejoicing, the Lord is our Shepherd. The Lord is our Shepherd in every season.
[Organizational cue] In your outlines you will see that I have two points for us to go through together.
I. The Shepherd Satisfies & Guides (Psalm 23:1-4)
II. The Shepherd Shelters & Supplies (Psalm 23:5-6)
I. The Shepherd Satisfies & Guides (Psalm 23:1-4)
[Main Point] The Psalmist begins by reminding himself of the provisions of the Shepherd.
1) He Satisfies
We tend to depend upon many things to satisfy us. (Relationships, academics, careers, family, friends etc) However, do they leave you wanting, or do they fully satisfy? If we are honest, we know that they do not fully satisfy.
[Application/Transition] However, we have a Shepherd who will not leave us wanting. According to the text, he Satisfies our souls! Not only does he satisfy our souls, but he restores our souls.
Has your soul felt troubled? Have you had thoughts that accuse you and debilitate you? Thoughts like “You are not good enough,” “God does not love you; you are too far gone.” “You are not a true Christian, you struggle too much with sin,” “You don’t pray enough, read the bible enough!” I know I have, and these are debilitating.
But take heart, Friends, amid those accusations we have a Shepherd that restores our soul, and this passage reminds us that he is the only one who can lead us towards righteousness. We do not lead ourselves, we have Sheperd who guides through the confusing roads of life.
2) He Guides
All of these benefits we have seen thus far, did you notice where they take place? Amid the Valley of the Shadow of Death! Not in calm, storm-less days.
Have you ever seen those football fans that are shirtless and in the middle of the winter rooting for their team? I do not know about you, but I am certainly not devoted like that. I am a fair-weather fan! When it is warm and there are no clouds in the sky, I’ll be there!
[Prompt] Friends, God is not a fair-weather Shepherd. The Lord is our shepherd through every season!
Lastly, not only have a Shepherd that satisfies & guides, but one who shelters and supplies.
II. The Shepherd Shelters & Supplies (Psalm 23:5-6)
Friends, look at verse 5 & 6 and notice the actions of the Lord.
1) He Prepares a Table
2) Anoints us
3) Fills our cup
4) Shelters us in his house
Do those images not remind of Thanksgiving Dinner? Lots of food, overflowing cups of iced tea and a warm toasty house? But wait, is it a table full of provisions in a calm warm house? No, Amidst enemies! Friends, The Lord Supplies and Shelters us amidst trouble!
[Gospel connection] He is our Shepherd through every season. The best part is that this Shepherd has a name. Jesus!
John 10:11–16 ESV
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
He proclaimed to be the Shepherd that satisfies and gives his life for the sheep. This Shepherd went through the valley of the shadow death for you and is inviting you to take shelter upon his house!
[Application]
1) Are you allowing God to Shepherd you or are you Shepherding and leading yourself? Are you attempting with your own strength to muster up these benefits? Rely upon Christ’s finished work on the cross, not your own works by spending time praying through this Psalm. Thanking the Lord for his promises and sovereign care for you.
[Conclusion] To close, my prayer is that you are reminded that in every season you have a shepherd that satisfies our souls, guides us towards righteousness, shelters us from trouble & supplies our needs!
[Discussion Questions]
1) 1. As you think through the benefits found in Psalm 23, how do they give you hope for your future?
2) What difference does it make to you personally to know that Jesus has gone through the valley of death for you?
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