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The LORD Is My Shepherd:  Triumph A Four-Part Series on Psalm 23: 5 -6
Psalm 23 [ESV] 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 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 [ESV] 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
RECAP & OVERVIEW: FOUR THINGS THAT THE LORD DOES TO CARE FOR HIS OWN • PROVISION: The LORD meets all my needs. Ø He takes care of me as his own [“my shepherd”]. Ø I lack nothing in his provision [“I shall not want”]. • GUIDANCE: The LORD leads me all the way. Ø For my physical/emotional needs [“green pastures; still waters”]. Ø For my spiritual restoration [“restores my soul”]. Ø For my sanctification [“in the paths of righteousness”] Ø For the LORD’s own honor and glory [“for his name’s sake”].
RECAP & OVERVIEW: FOUR THINGS THAT THE LORD DOES TO CARE FOR HIS OWN • PROTECTION: The LORD watches over me in suffering. Ø For my own good [for our “self”/autonomy to be broken, to be dependent on God, to be used by God]. Ø Through three things: (1) his presence, (2) his protection, and (3) his comfort Ø So even in “death valley” there is no need to fear, no harm done even in death, and no sorrow without hope. • TRIUMPH: The LORD gives us the ultimate victory over our enemies. Ø What waits for me in the end of my journey with the LORD? Ø How then should I respond to all this?
WHAT WAITS FOR ME IN THE END OF MY JOURNEY WITH THE LORD? 1) FEAST: to celebrate and welcome me in his house. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (v. 5). Ø The final destination to which the LORD will lead us is house; there the LORD is our Host who welcomes us! Ø The first thing that waits for us is a table of FEAST prepared to celebrate our “homecoming” (Luke 15: 22 -24). Ø It is the expression of GOD’s delight in us not because of our merit but because of grace—we are HIS own. Ø In the mean time, we are to have a “foretaste” of this FEAST in our spiritual community during our journey on earth!
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. ” Revelation 19: 6 -7
WHAT WAITS FOR ME IN THE END OF MY JOURNEY WITH THE LORD? 2) TRIUMPH & HONOR: to give me honor & victory before my enemies. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (v. 5). Ø The LORD will declare our triumph not secretly but publically —before our enemies. Ø Who are our “enemies”? Our ultimate enemies are not people but the Evil One and his demons. Ø There the LORD will honor us by anointing by our head with oil. Ø In the mean time, we are to fight the good fight as we are led by our Shepherd.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4: 7 -8
WHAT WAITS FOR ME IN THE END OF MY JOURNEY WITH THE LORD? 3) JOY OVERFLOWING: to fill me until I brim over. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (v. 5). Ø The ultimate hope we have in Christ is this joy overflowed by God’s delight and glory in us as his children. Ø This joy will wipe out all of our sorrows and dark “death valleys, ”—it will be much more than “lacking nothing”! Ø In essence, our cup overflows not just because of what the LORD gives us but because the LORD himself. Ø In the mean time, we are to rejoice in the LORD always because of our eternal hope.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73: 25 -26
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO WHAT THE LORD DOES FOR ME? 1) A RESOLUTE CONFIDENCE: in God’s goodness and mercy. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever (v. 6). Ø Our confidence comes from experiencing God’s goodness and mercy firsthand (in joy and suffering). Ø This experiential knowledge is gained by daily walk. 2) A PERPETUAL PURSUIT: of God’s presence in my daily walk. Ø If we are fully convinced of God’s goodness and mercy, our response will be shown in our pursuit of God. Ø This pursuit must be intentional and perpetual—i. e. , day by day, week by week, month by month—as a lifestyle!
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27: 4
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE 1. HOPE IN WHAT WAITS FOR YOU in the end of your journey with the LORD. Ø God will bring you triumph, feast, honor, and joy overflowing! Ø Fight the good fight and finish your race by looking to that hope. 2. Be RESOLUTELY CONFIDENT in God’s goodness and mercy. Ø Remember God’s goodness in your journey. Ø Remember God’s mercy in your journey. 3. Make THE PERPETUAL PURSUIT OF GOD your lifelong commitment. Ø Never stop pursuing God’s presence in your life. Ø Never stop pursuing God’s glory through your life.