- The 23rd Psalm Series
- The Lord is my Shepherd – That’s Relationship!
- I shall not want – That’s Supply!
- He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – That’s Rest!
- He leadeth me beside the still waters – That’s Refreshment!
- He restoreth my soul – That’s Healing!
- He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness – That’s Guidance!
- For His Name’s Sake – That’s Purpose
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – That’s Testing!
- I Shall Fear No Evil – That’s Protection
- For Thou art with me — That’s Faithfulness!
- Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me – That’s Discipline
- Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – That’s Hope!
- Thou annointest my head with oil – That’s Consecration!
- My cup runneth over – That’s Abundance!
- And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —–That’s Security!
- Forever – That’s Eternity!
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever-.
The Lord is my Shepherd —– That’s Relationship!
Assured to the Smallest Assembly of Believers Lu 24:15
And it came to pass, that, while- they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Oh how great to know that we can have a relationship and fellowship with the very God of the universe. He has said that he would be with us Mt 18:20, and Luke 24:15 gives us an example of how Jesus joins us as we commune together. God is particularly interested in our fellowship one with another for he tells us “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Hallelujah!
I ask you today, are you faithful to fellowship in worship each week? Do you look forward to joining with fellow Christians for prayer? Are you faithful to each of your church’s services? Look again at the words of Matthew. “Are gathered together.” For the purpose of worship. It is a simpler form of the word used in Heb 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” “In my Name” (εἰς τοÌ ἐμοÌν ὀìνομα); literally, into my Name; i.e. with love to me, yearning for union with me, and acting for my glory. This would imply decent and orderly meeting for the highest ends. There am I in the midst of them. Christ promises a real, actual presence, though invisible, as true as when he appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, as true as when the Shechinah shone in tabernacle or temple. The rabbis had a saying that if two sat at table and conversed about the Law of God, the Shechinah rested upon them. The promise in the text, of course, implies Christ’s omnipresence and omniscience. This is his blessing on united, congregational prayer.
A Comfort in Trials Isa 43:2;
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
An old saying goes: “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Unfortunately, sometimes you get to the end and there isn’t enough rope left to tie a knot. What then? Well, God wants you to know that he is with you. David knew this at a time in his life when everything seemed to be going against him. “The LORD is my shepherd,” he cries, knowing that God is in control. Just as the sheep expect the shepherd to protect them, David was looking to God to protect him.
Through the waters … through the rivers; i.e. through troubles of any kind (comp. Psa 66:12, “We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”). There were, perhaps, special troubles to be endured connected with the final Babylonian struggle. There were certainly others connected with the tedious and dangerous journey from Babylonia to Palestine (Ezr 8:22, Ezr 8:31). There were others, again, after the Holy Land was reached, arising out of the jealousy and ill will of neighbouring nations (Ezr 4:1-24; Ezr 5:1-17.; Nehemiah 4-6.). Neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. The literal fulfilment in the persons of the “three children” (Dan 3:27) will be obvious to every reader. But the prophecy has, no doubt, a far wider scope.
Gives Courage in Life’s Battles Deut 20:1
When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
As you face the trials and testings of your spiritual life, know that God is not only with you, but that He will see that you come out on the side of victory if you trust in Him. I must mention here that we are speaking of spiritual battles. If you foolishly spend more than you make, God will not help you with your finances; if you drink, smoke, do drugs or have other habits that damage your body, do not expect God to keep you healthy. We will speak more on these subjects later. Here, God is speaking of spiritual trials and testings.
The instructions in this chapter are peculiar to Deuteronomy. As the people of God, Israel was not a warlike nation; they were rather to abstain from warfare, and as a general rule to cultivate the arts of peace. But they had before them at this time the prospect of a serious and protracted conflict before they could occupy the land which God had assigned to them; and they might in future years have to go to war to maintain their independence and repel aggression. In view of this, instructions are here given regarding the conducting of military service.
When they found themselves opposed by an army more numerous than their own, and better furnished with the material of warfare, they were not to be afraid or discouraged, for Jehovah their God, who had brought them out of Egypt, would be with them to protect and help them (cf. Psa 20:7). Horses and chariots. In these, which constituted the main strength of the nations with which they would have to contend, the Israelites were deficient; and to them these were always objects of terror in war (Jos 11:4; Jos 17:16; Jdg 1:19; Jdg 4:3; 1Sa 13:5).
Question: What are some obstacles to applying these truths to our life?
I’ll close with the third verse and chorus of the old hymn; “God Leads Us Along.”
Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.