We are going to use the same 4 steps mentioned previously, to study PSALM 23:
1/ Setting the context: (abc’s)
– Author — King David
– Background — When did the author live? In what culture? Born in 907 BC, he reigned as king of Israel for 40 years, dying at age 70 in 837 BC. He was a farm boy, a shepherd & a musician, then became a warrior & a king. David had a heart for the Lord.
– Context — Book of Psalm, Chapter 23:1-6 The Christian sees in this Psalm a wonderful foreshadowing of “The Good Shepherd” Jesus Christ, (John 10) who gave His life for His sheep & watches over them even now.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice,” Psalm 95:7
2/ What does the passage say? (observation):
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Read Prayerfully. Re-read the passage.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 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.
– Questions we may ask:
What is a shepherd? shepherd is a sheep farmer, a pastor.
What are some of the duties of a Shepherd? Their main duty is :
-To guide the sheep safely from one place to another.
He has to make sure that he leads them to:
-graze, ( eat right food )
-drink good clean water, ( right water ), they get sick easily when water is not good.
–make them rest and then return them to the pen for safety.
-He is responsible for protecting the sheep day & night, from wolves or other predators,
-to examine & keep them healthy,
–protect them from eating poisonous plants,
-to take care of the wounded & heal them, etc.
Sheep are not ferocious animals and have no ways to defend for themselves from any predators, they depend on their shepherd for survival. The Shepherd knows what is best for the sheep and always acts in their best interests.
– Locate and mark any key words, repeated words or phrases, and commands: In Psalms 23 -The Lord & me.
What David realized and wrote so beautifully is that your Shepherd loves you. Really loves you.
3/ What does it mean? (meaning)
-Carefully examine the text and let it speak for itself. Let Scripture interpret Scripture
-What is the main idea or lesson that the author/God was trying to communicate? – The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want (or lack anything)
-You can make an outline and/or write down the general idea: In this Psalm King David begins by illustrating the provision of the Lord, both physical and spiritual (1-3). David then describes the protection & provision of the Lord, as he travels through dangerous places and in the presence of enemies (4-5). The psalm ends with an expression of faith and hope in the Lord’s care, that God will furnish the goodness and mercy needed throughout life, so that he made abide in the house of the Lord forever (6).
-Look for scriptures that relates to the passage (cross-references).
1. The Shepherd’s Provision & guidance (23:1-3)
The source of provision & guidance is God’s presence, Josh.1:5-9
a. Physical, soul & Spiritual Provision (1-2)
1. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Is.40:11, Lk12:22-32, Heb.13:20, Jer.23:4)
3. He leads me beside the still waters ( Rev. 7:17)
b. Soul Restoration (3)
1. He restores my soul (Psalm 51:10, 1 Peter 2:25)
2. He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake (Psalm 5:8, 19:7, 143:11; 1Co 10:13)
2. The Shepherd’s Protection (23:4-5)
a. His faithfulness through difficult times (4), (Valley of the shadow of death, Job 3:5)
1. I will fear no evil, for He is with me (Matt. 28:20; Psalm 27:1-2,138:7)
b. In the presence of our enemies (5)
2. He anoints my head with oil, my cup runs over (Psalm 16:5, Eph 3:19-21).
Oil : Healing, James 5:14, Luke 10:34 & Consecration: 1 John 2:27, Exodus 29:7, 30:22-31,Exodus 40:9; 2 Kings 9:6;
Ecclesiastes 9:8; Acts 10:38.
3. The Shepherd’s Everlasting Care (23:6)
a. All the days of one’s life (6a)
1. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
2. All the days of my life (2 Ti 4:18)
b. Forever (6b)
1. I will dwell in the house of the Lord
2. Forever (Jn 14:1-3)
– STUDYNG VERSE BY VERSE:
1. “The Lord is my Shepherd; – Relationship, If we believe & follow Jesus, then we become one of His sheep. Then we can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd”. The central image that the author/King David uses to describe how the Lord relates to him is a shepherd to his sheep, remember David was a shepherd, and he understood very well that relationship. But God in the Old Testament compares himself to a Shepherd and Jesus in the New Testament in John 10:11, describes himself as the ‘GOOD SHEPHERD’. Jn 10:11-15, 25-30; He 13:20; 1Pe 2:21-25; 5:4; Is.40:11, Lk12:22-32, Heb.13:20, Jer.23:4.
I shall not want! –Provision on every area of my life. When the Lord is my Shepherd, I will lack nothing for only He can bring satisfaction and I find that my satisfaction is in Him not in things. Matt. 6:25 – 34; 1 Tim.6:8; 2 Pet.1:3-4; Revelation 7:15-17