Psalm 23, often referred to as the Shepherd's Psalm. The Shepherd is responsible to provide the appropriate pastures and water for sheep. Sheep will only drink from still water. They must lay down to rest and absorb their nutrients. What is the job or purpose of the sheep? They eat and drink, mature and bear young.
Pastor noted that this Psalm really is about Relationship. We should not see ourselves like “dumb” sheep. But we too are given life to eat, drink, mature and raise young. No matter how old you get you can still have, or mentor, spiritual offspring. Healthy offspring can only come from the protected relationship of the herd of sheep led by the wise hand of a shepherd. Pastor pointed out that relationship is like the herd of water buffalo at the Battle at Kruger. The herd stopped to protect and help the weak and injured calf.
Some animals have a relationship of convenience, like Pastor’s feral cat who hung around for food, water and shelter. But there was no intimacy, no touch, no commitment. When the cat decided to go off there was no way for Pastor to know where it went or to help it. This happens in churches too with people, like those who come in late, leave early and do not connect to others in the congregation. Pastor proclaimed that ours is a Church of ‘restoration.’ We accept strays and hope that they will become connected; will find a relationship within the church, to be mentored as offspring to find a full relationship with God.
If we recall when we first got saved, or accepted Christ as our personal savior, we recall that everything in our live changed. Sometimes it came suddenly, other times more slowly, but always there was change. Usually there is a point where a new Christian is very excited to share what God has done for him/her. Paul advised Timothy to “Stir up gift within you.” 2 Timothy 1:6. If we are alive in Christ, we should show it. We should not be like a “bump on a pickle.” We should not just sit and wait for our own death. Instead we should share and help others. We should show our excitement as one of those who is yearning for His appearing. Pastor referenced 2 Timothy 4:8 but I found all of chapter 4 is applicable to this message.
There are several versions of songs featuring Psalm 23.
I found this one to be inspirational!
Psalm 23:6 (NIV)
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank you Lord for all the blessings that you pour down on me as my Shepherd. Help me to be obedient to follow your direction: to eat and drink of the nutrients (physical and spiritual) that you provide, and to mentor spiritual offspring so they may have a relationship with you too.