Loving the Lord in lockdown 3! – The Lord my shepherd and my host
In the UK we have a problem really understanding Psalm 23. We imagine a nice farming scene in green fields on a nice summer’s day with the shepherd leaning on his crook watching the sheep at play. David was in Israel – a hot, dry country where good grassland is scarce and there are wild animals such as lions, bears and wolves. The shepherd had to constantly move his flock on to find fresh grass and there was a constant danger from wild animals and foreign raiders. David is saying life is tough and we will not survive unless the Lord is our shepherd. We need to depend on the Lord for everything.
- The Lord my Shepherd.
- The Lord my Shepherd is all about the Lord. David is saying, “it’s not about me, it’s about you Lord”. True Christianity challenges the ‘me generation’ and ‘I did it my way’. How important is the Lord to you?
- The Lord my Shepherd speaks of intimacy. The shepherd lived with his sheep 24/7. As our shepherd Jesus says, “I will never leave you or forsake you”. The Lord our shepherd will never fail us. Is the Lord your shepherd? Who do you belong to? Are you one of Jesus’ sheep (John 10:14)?
- Following the Lord is a life of adventure. Following the Lord is a life of constant movement. The shepherd has to constantly move his sheep on to new pastures, even while the grass still looks good. Have you got faith to move on with Jesus? The promises in Psalm 23 – provision, refreshment, guidance, God’s presence and protection – are only for those who are moving on with the Lord. Will you follow Him?
- The Lord my Host. The focus changes in verses 5 and 6 to the Lord my Host. The Lord invites us to His home. There is a banqueting table set out for us. We are anointed with oil – the best make over. There is a constant supply of the best wine. The Lord invites us to come and live with Him and to drink of Him and be satisfied. The Lord promises that His goodness and mercy will follow us for the rest of our life.
Because the Lord is David’s Shepherd and Host he is able to have great faith and confidence that the Lord’s blessing and presence will be with him for the rest of his life and for eternity. We can know God’s love and provision not just for eternity, we can know it in our lives today.