Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23

Many, even non-believers know or have heard all or part of this psalm. It is shared at funerals quite frequently, or during other times of strife.

See if you can fill in the blank:

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not ____________" want

Can you do more?

"He makes me lie down in ____________ ______________" green pastures

"He leads me beside quiet ________________" waters

"He restores my _________________" soul

(Highlight the space after each blank for the answers if needed)

In SaLT with WaLT we talked about how exactly how God is our Shepherd, and how He has done these things for each of us. It was great discussion!

In the book we are using to lead us through the study, "Jesus, Seeing Him More Clearly", the author, Bill Hybels, reminds us that as Christians who know the Lord, we can expect God to be and do all the things that this Psalm promises us. However, if we are merely casual acquaintances, or barely know Him at all, we can't experience any of the type of relationship described in this writing. Now we are asked to ponder "If the Lord is not someone's Shepherd, what impact will this have on them?" That really drove the point home to me, and to be honest, I can't even imagine how hopeless a feeling it could be to not have God to trust and rely on.

One woman while sharing compared this relationship between child and Father, or the Shepherd, to that of her dog. I wasn't sure what she was getting at when she shared, but as she continued I began to understand. She explained that when she is out for a walk, and has her dog along, the dog has a tendency to rest his head on her leg, kind of like relying on her to be the guide. She notices that the dog does this when it is time to make a turn or something and she likens that to how we should be when trusting God, gently resting our head on the Shepherd, trusting Him to guide us when life takes a turn.

After class, another gentlemen shared that he likes to think about Psalm 23 in the form of a question "If the Lord is my Shepherd, why am I wanting?" What a neat thing to ponder!

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