Follow Me: The Lord is my Shepherd
October 16, 2016
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
We have found comfort at every moment of our journey through this great Psalm with David. As we continue, remember that it was our Shepherd who inspired the shepherd/king to pen these verses. Jesus knew where David was and what He needed in every circumstance, Jesus knows you and me just as well. Hallelujah! What a Savior. Someone once wrote a different version of Psalm 23 that I want to share with you right now. As I read this, ask yourself which one is a better representation of you. A Stubborn Calf’s Psalm 23. Now, let’s read the real thing together. READ TEXT I don’t know about you but I want the real one to be the right one for me. Ray Charles—You got the right one baby!
- Part one. v. 4a
- David transitions from talking about the Shepherd to talking with the Shepherd (Wiersbe). Oh what a difference it makes when we go from talking about Jesus to talking to Him. It’s true on a horizontal level and it’s an even greater reality on the vertical level. We always accomplish more when we talk to someone rather than talking about them.
- Even though. The first two words of verse 4 are so powerful. They are words of perspective. David gives us a glimpse of his heart and mind in these two word. EVEN THOUGH! No matter where he might be physically. No matter what that moment in time might feel like...he knows the Lord is his Shepherd. If you will allow the Lord Jesus to get you to the point in your life where this is your perspective, your life and the world around you will never be the same. “Even though they slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
- I walk. “To walk indicates the steady advance of a soul which knows its road, knows its end, resolves to follow the path, feels quite safe, and is therefore perfectly calm and composed. The dying saint is not in a flurry, he does not ran as though he were alarmed, nor stand still as though he would go no further, he is not confounded nor ashamed, and therefore keeps to his old pace” (Spurgeon). We don't walk in the valley of the shadow of death, Christians walk through it. "Death is not the house but the porch, not the goal but the passage to it. (Spurgeon) It's not the valley of death but the valley of the shadow of death. (Would you rather be hit by a train or the shadow of a train?) The shepherd that leads you through life will be with you in death. Choosing your shepherd couldn't be more critical. Think it through. You can't follow the devil and the world, as your shepherd, all your life and expect Jesus to shepherd you through death. Your life choice for a shepherd is an eternal one. The great news is that Jesus is ready, willing, and able to become your shepherd at a moments notice. He is "sittin on go" waiting for you to hand over all that remains. You might say, "All that remains?!" Yes whatever is left and for however long you have left, He will Shepherd you.
- I will fear no evil. The worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows. We feel a thousand deaths in fearing one, but the Psalmist was cured of the disease of fearing. “I will fear no evil,” (Spurgeon).
- We are comforted by who He is and that He is with us.
II. Part two. v. 4b
A. We are comforted by what He has. Rod and staff offer protection and guidance. Can be used to save from an enemy and can be used to rescue one from unseen trouble or danger. This also reminds us that He is in charge, He is in the lead, He is shepherding us not the other way around.
B. Sheep lack good vision and are easily frightened in new circumstances, especially where it’s dark; and the presence of the shepherd calms them (Wiersbe). You and I have faced some pretty dark days in our lives. We have made it through them because our Shepherd never left us alone. We can face whatever dark days are ahead of us because He is just as faithful to us today as He has ever been. Even the dark days of death can be faced victoriously, without fear, because He is here.
There is no doubt that life is hard, and the sorrows we endure change us in ways we could never have imagined. But through it all our Great Shepherd, the King of kings and the Lord of lords walks with us. He guards our hearts and minds. He loves us. He protects us. He will lead us home.