Bible Study for December 2002:
Study 1: THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD
Known by most, adored by the young, strong and aged, this psalm is the citadel on which rests the past, present and future of all saints. Revealing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as Our Shepherd, true believers feel at home whenever this Psalm is quickened in their spirits (Psalm 80:1; Isaiah 40:11; John 10:11,14; Acts 20:28). Under just four subdivisions we examine the Provision For The Sheep, Pilgrimage With The Shepherd, Preservation and Security and Possession of The Saints.
PROVISION FOR THE SHEEP (Psalm 23:1-3,5)
Psalm 37:3-5; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Philippians 4:19; John 14:12-17
The LORD’S provision reveals the present not just hope for the future. Encompassing our spiritual, physical and psychological needs, every facet of life meets with His abundance. From the picture of the shepherd painted, we see Jesus the good shepherd (John 10:11,14), the chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). We can only profit from His shepherding through personal appropriation and submission. Like true sheep we submit to his correction, counsel and comfort with meekness and quietness; confident of His unerring guidance and unparalleled goodness. There is a permanence to His supply which guarantees the absence of want.
PILGRIMAGE WITH THE SHEPHERD (Psalm 23:4)
John 8:9; Psalm 91:15; 34:19; 138:7; Matthew 28:19,20
The true sheep is never alone, the Saviour walks along with him throughout life’s rough road. He leads, guides and helps each believer as he walks in faith in the valleys and perils of the world. None of us can walk alone without His strengthening Hand upholding us. There may be difficulties along the way, troublous times may come, demonic manifestations and molestation in the family, the horizon may look bleak and empty of hope; life may be like walking through the vacuous valley of the illusory shadow of death, yet the believer will fear no evil. The saints are bound to walk through the valley of the shadow of death but it is not our lot to fear. Our confidence of faith in His abiding presence will see us through to the other side of victory, strength and power in the Holy Ghost.
PRESERVATION AND SECURITY (Psalm 23:4,5)
John 10:27-29; Matthew 16:18; Luke 10:19; 12:32; 21:18; Zechariah 2:5,7,8; Job 1:10; 2 Corinthians 1:8-10; 2 Timothy 4:16-18
If we as sheep recognize the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him, we shall be protected from many perils in life. In the greatest of dangers and difficulties in life we need not fear any evil. There is assurance of help in the hardest of all life’s hard places. God’s promise of preservation, protection and security is the sufficient ground for all to have confidence. In His presence, there are strength, comfort, rest and hope. The security of His provision is found in its constancy, continuance and unceasing nature.
POSSESSION OF THE SAINTS (Psalm 23:6)
John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Matthew 6:20; Obadiah 17; Psalm 27:4; Proverbs 10:22
The certainty of God’s blessings following the believer is rooted solidly in the Psalmist’s heart. He possesses the good things of life in the now and inherits the privilege of eternal fellowship with God in eternity.
Next week’s Bible Study isTHE SAVIOUR’S ABUNDANT PROVISION II. You can enjoy the Saviour’s abundant provision in your life.
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