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Encountering God Bible Study Chapter 5

Hey Sparkles! Happy Wednesday! For today’s Wednesday Wisdom post, I am continuing the Bible study Encountering God: A Study in Psalms by Steve Pettit. Today we are covering chapter 5.

Encountering God Chapter 5 – Psalm 23

Everyone needs a shepherd. We can’t go through life without one. We need someone to guide our steps, guard us against danger and lead us to places of nourishment and satisfaction. We need a shepherd.

David understood shepherding because he was a shepherd, so it is no wonder God picked him to write Psalm 23.

This psalm begins with a confident declaration: ”The Lord is my shepherd.” The meaning of the name Lord is very important. This is God’s personal name. The Hebrew word is YHWH. It is often translated Jehovah or Yahweh and occurs over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. The Lord defined the meaning of His name to Moses by declaring, ”I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14). In other words, He is the self-existing God. Everyone else depends on Him for their existence.

What does it mean for Jesus Christ to be our Shepherd? Psalm 23 describes seven ways.

He Owns Me

“The Lord is my shepherd…”
Psalms 23:1a

By saying the Lord is my shepherd, we are not saying he belongs to us. Rather, it is quite the opposite. This verse implies that He owns us.

He Provides for Me

“…I shall not want.”
Psalms 23:1b

This statement does not mean God gives us everything we want. The term want is used to mean need here.

He Gives Me True Peace and Satisfaction

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”
Psalms 23:2

Christ is our shepherd and gives us true peace. He also leads us to restful places, just like a shepherd does with sheep. Jesus taught that following is what true disciples do.

”My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

He Restores Me

”He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:3a

Sheep by nature struggle. They are easily bruised and hurt. Perhaps you can relate to this. Therefore shepherds have to bind up the broken.

God promised in Ezekiel 34:16

”I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.”

He Guides Me

”He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our guide. We have to acknowledge that without His direction we go astray. But by following His leadership, we honor His name.

He Protects Me

”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.”

Psalm 23:4

Valleys can be dangerous, dark, and scary, but when we know that Jesus is looking out for us, all our fears are gone.

He Prospers Me

”You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”

Psalm 23:5

David encountered enemies many times during his life. At the same time they were seeking to destroy him, God was prospering him.

Conclusion

”Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

David concludes this shepherd’s psalm with a testimony of his firm confidence in the Good Shepherd. We should do the same.

Well, that’s all for today, Sparkles.  If you want to get a copy of Encountering God: A Study in Psalms, click here.  Make sure to go back and read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Thanks for reading, and Sparkles away!

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