The LORD is my Shepherd [draft sermon outline]
Published September 3rd, 2020; Updated September 4th, 2020
The Lord Is My Shepherd 23 A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my d shepherd; I shall not e want. 2 He makes me lie down in green f pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 1 3 He g restores my soul. He h leads me in i paths of righteousness 1 for his j name’s sake. 4 Even though I k walk through the valley of l the shadow of death, 1 I will m fear no evil, for n you are with me; your o rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You p prepare a table before me in q the presence of my enemies; you r anoint my head with oil; my s cup overflows. 6 Surely 1 goodness and mercy 2 shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall t dwell 3 in the house of the Lord u forever. 4
23 1 מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד יְהוָ֥ה רֹ֝עִ֗י לֹ֣א אֶחְסָֽר ׃ 2 בִּנְא֣וֹת דֶּ֭שֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵ֑נִי עַל ־ מֵ֖י מְנֻח֣וֹת יְנַהֲלֵֽנִי ׃ 3 נַפְשִׁ֥י יְשׁוֹבֵ֑ב יַֽנְחֵ֥נִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי ־ צֶ֝֗דֶק לְמַ֣עַן שְׁמֽוֹ ׃ 4 גַּ֤ם כִּֽי ־ אֵלֵ֨ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא ־ אִ֘ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי ־ אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֝מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי ׃ 5 תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י דִּשַּׁ֖נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה ׃ 6 אַ֤ךְ ׀ ט֤וֹב וָחֶ֣סֶד יִ֭רְדְּפוּנִי כָּל ־ יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑י וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְּבֵית ־ יְ֝הוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים ׃
The LORD is my Shepherd Intro The most familiar of all. But remember the 4 ways to read the Psalms. Sequence matters in the Psalms, though it is subtle. 20, 21, 22, and now 23 before 24. Not a random list! Big theme in the Bible, 'shepherd'. But it doesn't make sense unless we grasp what the True Shepherd is like, and what life as his flock is therefore like. The very heart of the King's heart is here. R evealed on his own self-defining terms, not ours. [Worksheet - shepherd, King] 1. Our Shepherd gives us rest (v1-3) The LORD - first name terms here. YHWH. Personal, covenantal. 'My' shepherd. The Heb. nuances are significant; waters of rest...right paths...for his name's sake. Our problem: we refuse to be comforted by these truths. Life following Jesus our Shepherd involves all these things, v1-3. Our issue is that we stray from the Shepherd and doubt his goodness; we doubt his heart. We project onto him what we are like. [Worksheet - waters, green pastures, rest] 2. Our Shepherd gives us comfort (v4) Valley of deep darkness, fear no evil. How can this be? You are with me. We are to be comforted by his Shepherding tools of rod and staff Our problem: we refuse to be comforted by these truths. It is not enough to us that he is 'with' us. We don't want to trust him, we want to rule our little world. Jesus is the Shepherd who went down into the valley of death itself, alone, so that his people might pass through it never alone. [Worksheet - valley, darkness, cross] 3. Our Shepherd can't be stopped (v5-6) The table, cf Lord's Supper; In the presence, not yet the absence. Of 'enemies'; those who show hostility. Anoint head with oil; Honour, intimacy, welcome. We come in shame, but are treated with honour. He blesses and blesses and blesses. Overflows. The dominant metaphor. There will be no end to his goodness. 'Only'... goodness and HESED..will PURSUE ME; dogged pursuit...all the days of my life...and I will dwell / return to dwell...in the house of the LORD...forever Our problem: we refuse to be comforted by these truths. Yet even our refusal can't stop the faithful plans of God to bless. Our Shepherd-King is revealed on his own self-defining terms, not ours. He doesn't fit a category we have for him, he is in his own and describes it to us. [Worksheet - table, house, forever] Wrap-up Big theme in the Bible, 'shepherd'. But it doesn't make sense unless we grasp what the True Shepherd is like, and what life as his flock is therefore like. The very heart of the King's heart is here. Revealed on his own self-defining terms, not ours. Our Shepherd gives rest; gives comfort; and he can't and won't be stopped.