by Christina Farris
1 A Psalm of David. 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. Do we look for the Godhead not so clearly seen in scripture. Are we examing scripture to see God's role in it. This thanksgiving are putting God the Father, the Son And Holy Spirit in our holiday season. Thanksgiving we sing our praises on our lips, but do we exam the words of praise. Going from thanksgiving to Christmas it easy to see the godhead/trinity. Yet in praise and worship who are we focus on, in our praise. Do we see the interworking of the Godhead in our praise? Praising God should be the easiest thing to our hearts and minds and often it is not. The baby stage of faith, when there is no trouble, praising should be easy. If baby stage is full of surgeries and struggles, the praise is not so readily on the lips, but it is the struggle of faith that makes a person strong in the Lord more quickly as blessings flow from the Father above. Yet do we recognize the help from above? I picked Psalms 23 not just because I feel lead to use it this morning, but it is a Psalms most people are familiar with. Those that watch television find Psalms 23 often used at funerals, but not necessarily, and only if Bible is read. It probably one of the most treasured chapters in the Bible in the Old Testament and it is a Psalm written by David.
It starts off as the Lord is my shepherd. Jesus declared himself as Lord, God declared Christ as Lord, but Jesus had not been born in the flesh so hear the word lord is reference to Jehovah whose name means existing one. Jehovah is another name for God the Father. Jehovah and Jesus are both called the great Shepherd. Jesus and Jehovah are equal. Job of the Shepherd is to make sure the flock as no needs, and their needs are meet. Part of parenthood that adult world hopes is their children are provided for. They hope that as they raise them they have love food and shelter most of all. The desires can and will always come as second part of provision, but not necessary. Another thing a parent does in tend to their children, they watch over their steps to make sure they are safe or in a safe place. Parents can not be everywhere as God can, but we can trust that the Great and Good Shepherd is leading us in pathways that are nuturing for growth and refreshing to the soul. To be in a green pasture for a sheep means there is plenty of good things to eat and plenty of water to drink. For a believer the pasture is a place of plenty of the word to eat and plenty of the word to drink to produce strong and healthy sheep. God's word is nourishing to the soul that drinks and eats of it in obedience.
Why did Israel in the wilderness find their journey so troublesome, perhaps it because they kept rejecting God as a leader and continued to grumble and complain. That need for the intercessor was greater then the need of God. There need for a human priest instead of one not so seeable to the naked eye. It hard to imagine this group of people seeing the works of God, afraid of God and yet only able to grumble to their God when things did not go their way. Had Moses forgot to give God a menu when he put in their request. God was trying to teach they they needed to rely on Him. Think for a moment about the temptation of Christ, the one thing the devil tells Jesus is more it would better if he submit to the authority of the ministers in the temple and you will live. Jesus said why tempt the Lord thy God to the devil. Man may obey God even in leadership and be a good minister, but they are not the Great Shepherd. The religious leaders taught the law to protect the people from God's wrath and the governmental wrath. Yet Jesus was superior to the leaders and he was going to do just what He always done look for those sheep not in the fold, and look for those sheep that were struggling with question of faith to help them understand. Israel since the time of Law in Exodus 22 heard God for the first time in centuries and were afraid. They were willing to obey the law but not willing to talk to God. They wanted intercessor, a person to go between. The needs were seen but not so quickly met. Yet when the people cried out to God, he did provide. God had already shown his power taking them out into the wilderness, but the power seen in Egypt was not enough for these believers. We got to realize the priesthood of Aaron was established before Moses coming into the picture as a leader of faith. God's people are failing by not trusting in Him.
David in this Psalms knew God individually and knew God's power to provide and to deliver. His experience was not the tribe of Hebrew people in the wilderness. His experience was not Israel as a whole experience with God. One has to ask why was it not the same when Israel seen the miracles in Egypt and David had fought bears and lions to protect his father's sheep. Maybe it is because as David went against these predators in boyhood with fear and strength of the Lord, he found God deliverance in his sling shot and his barehands. Going forth to battle is different then watching God's wrath and warnings. When in battle you have a way to fight what you see and know you also need the strength of the Lord, and with destruction of God you can't fight against a living God with bare hands. See devastation in Egypt probably left a different fear then going into battle with God. Despite the oppression of Egypt, these people worked and their needs were meet by their oppressors. The devastation would of meant their needs might not get meet. You go against a bear you can do something about it perhaps, if you are strong enough or have the right weaponry and know how to use it. God's provision for battle David knew already, and he knew the provision of man. The children of Israel had not trusted God in the way of faith but probably in had continued religious practice in Egypt even in the request of deliverance for years. But when deliverance came, they were not ready for God to remove the temptations of Egypt from them. After Pharaoh's chariots were destroyed what did the Israelites have to come back to in Egypt. There faith in God was not strong and so provision was not provided without asking for it. The need to learn to seek God for provision, for the field of green grass and fresh water. The knowledge of who provides not etched on the heart yet. David had learned of God's provision even though he was a strong young man. He seen God as a Great Shepherd tending to his children.
Israel would learn about the restoration of the soul in the wildreness, but David link of restoration of the soul came perhaps from each hardship or sorrow he faced whether in the sheep field, in the palace before his kingship and afterwards. The restoration of his soul once caught in sin with the knowledge that the world even knew it, and yet God still restored his soul when he repented of his sin. The kingdom would also be restored after it was almost lost from his grip, because of sin with Bathesheba.
David found victory even when impeding death might encompassed him because of conflict of war, or conflict with King Saul who sought his life. He even found comfort in correction of God rod and staff. King Saul was right in the cave David was hidding and yet he was safely hidden with his men, who could of easily killed Saul's people. David would not kill the king or Saul's people but allowed them to leave the cave only for him to holler after them to tell them he could of harmed them, but did not, causing a peace treaty between Saul and David.
David was anointed by the Holy Spirit and his soul rejoiced and overflowed with God's Spirit. He was not just anointed as king, but he knew the power of God from the anointing because of faith. He rejoiced in his faith because of God's choosing to blessing him with the gift of the Holy Spirit. He knew the anointing of God gave him peace, and he knew that peace was not the war he was fighting and leading Israel in, He knew he wanted to dwell in the peace of God that he found in worship to God in the temple. The same Spirit that lead David in battle was also the same Spirit that also gave David peace.
The anointing of God allows the overflowing of joy, and peace in one's life. The Spirit of God presence in this passage seen in the overflow of the anointing of David. Christ is seen in operation as David salvation as the word of God protected him in the shadow of death and the preparation of food by the hand of the Lord God Jehovah. If we are going to follow God we need to understand is what his blessing are in times of trouble as well as when there is plenty. Hardship can come from disobedience to God but it can also come because it that season in life for individual because of sins of others, or themselves in the since of life circumstances. David knew what it was to walk with God despite his situation, and Israel was still learning in the wilderness as a nation. It okay when we fail to walk the path correctly, God understands, but he desires us to trust him as the Great Shepherd.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for being the Great Shepherd in whom we can trust for your provision in life, and when we fail to see those provision coming, to know instead of grumbling we can just ask. We thank you for the word that feeds us and quenches our thirst. Thank you for the anointing of your Spirit that truly satisfies the soul to where the cup is overflowing. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:Continual Scripture Study: Jeremiah 23:4-9 KJV
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.