Psalm 23: The Good Shepherd

What is required of a “good” shepherd?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 23:1–3 A song of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, taking care of my needs.
He gives me rest in green pastures and leads me to peaceful waters to quench my thirst.
He makes life satisfying, keeping me on the right path to honor his name.
Luke 15:4 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one wanders away, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside to find the one that is lost?
John 10:11–12 I am the good shepherd and will sacrifice my life for the sake of the sheep. When the hired hand sees a wolf coming, he will abandon the sheep, because he is not their shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him. So the wolf will attack and scatter the flock.
King James
Psalm 23:1–3 <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.
Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
John 10:11–12 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

In this fast-paced world, where do we find rest and a means to quench our thirst?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 23:2–3 He gives me rest in green pastures and leads me to peaceful waters to quench my thirst.
He makes life satisfying, keeping me on the right path to honor his name.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who are overburdened and weary. Like the lead ox on a team, I will help pull your heavy load.
John 6:35 I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry. Whoever believes in me will never thirst.
Hebrews 4:3 The believers experience rest and peace, knowing that everything is going to be all right, but the unbelievers never will, for God swore in disgust that they would miss out, even though the promise was made available from the beginning.
Hebrews 4:10–11 One day we will cease from our own works just as God did on the seventh day. Strive for that place of rest by being fully obedient to whatever God would have you do.
King James
Psalm 23:2–3 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.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:10–11 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

What valid reasons do people have to fear? Why do people fear unnecessarily?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 23:4 As I walk through the most trying times of my life, a dark valley of the shadow of death, I still don’t have to fear, because you’re at my side. Like a shepherd who protects his lambs, your rod and your staff keep me safe.
King James
Psalm 23:4 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.

Why might victory be sweeter in the presence of our enemies? Why not?

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Psalm 23:5 In the presence of my enemies, you spread a feast before me and fill my cup to overflowing. You anoint my head with oil.
King James
Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Of what value is an overflowing cup?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 23:5 In the presence of my enemies, you spread a feast before me and fill my cup to overflowing. You anoint my head with oil.
King James
Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

How does God anoint a person’s head with oil?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 23:5 In the presence of my enemies, you spread a feast before me and fill my cup to overflowing. You anoint my head with oil.
King James
Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Why did King David think God’s house would be his permanent home?

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Psalm 23:6 For as long as I live, your love and mercy will be with me, and your house will be my home forever.
King James
Psalm 23:6 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.