Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Shepherd Psalm

David has left no sweeter Psalm that the 23rd Psalm. It is a tiny glimpse in David’s soul. Here we see truths of peace and comfort that God has given to the soul of David. It has been called the nightingale of the Psalms. This Psalm resonates with the most expressive tones of confidence, joy, and triumph Spurgeon said, “What condescension is this, that the Infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a shepherd. David had been a keeper of sheep and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd. David compares himself to a creature weak, defenseless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his provider, preserver, director, and actually his everything. No one has a right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature as been renewed, for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats. You see sheep are objects of property, not wild or not without an owner. We know from John 10 that Jesus considered himself the good shepherd of his sheep. Since He knows His sheep by name, God's love for his sheep is both intensive and particular, not a general love. When He sees that His lamb is lost He goes off in search of it until He finds it. He then scoops it up in his arms, puts it on His shoulders and carries it home. He does not merely go out and stand at a distance calling to any old stray sheep, hoping in vain that it wants to come home with Him. No, God calls us by name (since His sheep know his voice) and He mercifully does what is best for us. To those who do not follow Him Jesus said, "You do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:26, 27) In other words, He saves His loved ones, not with an ineffectual, passive love but with an active love which accomplishes that which he set out to do and actually gets the job done.

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