The Lord and the 23rd Psalm
This passage has been on my mind all day long. Not the complete Psalm but the beginning of verse 1. This is the the part I reference. Psalm 23:1 – The LORD is my shepherd; This is the part I desire to look at.
There are many people that quote this passage and really claim that the “LORD is their shepherd. That causes me to wonder if they really understand what their statement really means.
Many that have voiced this statement has done so while being a token Christ like person and at the same time time keeping both feet solidly planted in the sordid vile sinfulness of this world.
When one makes the claim that the LORD is their shepherd that is a claim that they are owned by the shepherd. The ownership of one is a claim of complete and total obedience. This type of obedience is seldom practiced in Christianity today.
We do know that we live in this world and make our living in this world. What we must remember is we are not of this world. Ephesians 4 speaks of our mind being renewed. What this means is; as we apply the Word of God to our lives we become more dedicated to following Jesus Christ and living a life that glorifies God.
Here is my problem – why do people say the LORD is my shepherd when they do not follow the shepherd? Let us examine this statement point by point.
1. 2Ti_2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Study – This is more work than simply reading the Word. Study is work and asking questions. a. Who is speaking. b. To whom are they speaking. c. What is the subject under consideration. d. What is the time period under consideration.
We are responsible to find the Will of God for our life and it is revealed in the Book of life. Some want a buffet where they can pick and choose what they want to believe and practice. It is a pick and choose system that is not contained in God’s Word. That being the situation, the LORD is not our shepherd unless it agrees with our thinking or desire.
2.Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I know some that say they are Christians and do not the things the father says. You cannot be a Christian and not go to His assembly. We have a clear command to assemble and worship the LORD. The Church is the bride of Christ. To shun his bride is to dishonor the very one whom we call the shepherd. What do you think that Jesus says about those that shun His bride. Do not be fooled, God will not be mocked. Shunning the bride of Christ is shaming the Savior. Do claim to be a sheep following the shepherd if you shun the Bride.
3. Eph_2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph_4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Php_1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php_3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
You cannot go out and drink, curse and carouse with the world and say we are a sheep following the shepherd. This is the height of hypocrisy. The word “conversation” is an old English word that means living or life style. If, by the Holy Spirit working within us, we cannot tear ourselves from following the fleshly, wicked worldly ways, we are not sheep following the Shepherd. We certainly are not Christians.