In our last visit we began a study of Psalm 23. I am using what I call the focus and amplify study method. To me, as I reflect on this Psalm, the focus is on “Knowing the Good Shepherd Personally.”
This focus is amplified as follows: the introduction which is a summary statement – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (verse 1). This is amplified with two main points that describe how the Shepherd cares and provides for his sheep. Verses 2 and 3 are affirmations about how God cares and provides for us. Verses 4 and 5 are a personal testimony of how God cares and provides for us. The conclusion, verse 6, declares the expected outcome of having such a personal relationship with the shepherd in life and the afterlife.
Let’s amplify these points more fully. When I refer to knowing the good shepherd personally I base that on the fact that the Psalmist didn’t say, “The Lord is a shepherd.” He declared “the Lord is MY shepherd.” He has a personal relationship. It’s clear as you read the whole Psalm that the Psalmist belongs to the shepherd. It’s also true, the shepherd belongs to the Psalmist. There is a bonding that has taken place.
Using another metaphor, they are part of a family. Like Hebrews 2:11 puts it: “Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” When I ask Jesus, the good shepherd referred to in John 10, to be my Savior, He becomes my brother. He also becomes my shepherd. I then belong to Him and He belongs to me.
In this kind of personal relationship you’ll discover and experience all you will ever need in life and eternity.