• Ericca Dunn

Psalm 23 - Part 10


“Psalm 23”

Sermon Series

Part 10

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.”

Most people like certainty.

In fact, a very popular word used is “sure”.

That is really a way of saying;

“Yes, you can absolutely count on it.”

It is a word that brings with it confidence.

That is why people in order to gain confidence, may ask the question,

“Is that a sure thing?”

You may have heard it said that the only sure things in life are death and taxes.

Well, according to the Bible, all of God’s promises are “Sure things”.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”


Keep in mind that in Psalm 23 David changes his language from verse 1-3 where he identifies the Good Shepherd (God) in the third person as “He”.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

In verses 4 to 6 he makes it even more personal by using the second person usage of the word “You”.

4 Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.”

To drive God’s point home even further that God is personally interested in YOU and that he is faithful and his promises, which are “Surely” yours, let’s read through this verse with some

synonyms for the word “Surely”.


I suggest that you take the time to actually read through the entire verse with the words below.

Confidently” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Clearly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Positively” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Doubtlessly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Decidedly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Convincingly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Genuinely” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Firmly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Indisputably” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Uncompromisingly” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”

Undeniably” your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…”


No matter what happens to you as a Christian, goodness and love will follow you always, because Jesus is always with you.

Q: Who or what in your life is testing this

promise of God right now?

Q: What is the situation, or the person that

makes you feel or think that God’s

goodness and love are not following

you?

Q: What is it right now that you feel is

following you rather than God’s

goodness and mercy?

Some would answer with the following words;

Surely Doubt follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Bad Luck follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Fear follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Uncertainty follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Regret follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Guilt follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Failure follows me all the days of my life,

Surely Fill in the Blank follows me all the days of my life,

It is comforting to know that King David (who began as a shepherd) felt every one these feelings.

We can use Jesus to erase all of these thoughts and feelings that are weighing us down.

God said,

“Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you.”

So, we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?”

-Hebrews 13:5,6

A great verse in John 10 says;

Very truly [Greek = Amen, Amen]

[This use always connects what went before it and what comes after it. It is never used to start or finish a thought. This is interesting because we use the single word AMEN at the end of prayers.]

I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, [The Gate = Jesus] but climbs in by some other way,

[Tries to get to heaven any other way]

is a thief and a robber… 3 The gatekeeper [The Father] opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

[This Greek word for “Know” here means “Personal Relationship” as opposed to the other Greek word which means “To know about”.]

A good example of this is in

Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus said:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly,

‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ [“Knew” Greek = Personal Relationship]

5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the GATE for the sheep.

8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.

9 I am the GATE; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

10 The THIEF [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, [A personal relationship with Jesus with all of its benefits and blessings] and have it to the full.

11 “I AM the GOOD SHEPHERD.

The good shepherd lays down his life

for the sheep. [The cross]

12 THE HIRED HAND is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. [Not “All in”. Not fully devoted.]

So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.

Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.

13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I AM the GOOD SHEPHERD; I know [Personal Relationship] my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 I have other sheep [Non Jewish people] that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

17 The reason my Father loves me is that

I lay down my life [The cross]—only to take it up again. [Resurrection]

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down [Good Friday] and authority to take it up again. [Resurrection, Easter Sunday]

This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided.

20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 BUT others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” 27 My sheep LISTEN to my voice;

I know them, and they FOLLOW me.

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one [or no “thing”] can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him… BUT he escaped their grasp. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan…”

OUR BLESSINGS FROM THESE VERSES

Confidence

28 I give [Gift, grace, free] them eternal life, and they shall never perish…”

Security

“…no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one [or no “thing”] can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

It is true that the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are one in so far as they are three persons of the Godhead that we refer to as the Trinity.

(Tri-Unity)

But, what I think Jesus was referring to here is the fact that he and his Father were

one in purpose.

DOUBLE MEANING FOR “FOLLOWS”

Goodness & Loving Mercy “Follows” us as God’s blessings.

Thinking of them as names of people.

“Mr. or Mrs. Goodness & Loving Mercy” follow us wherever we go.

The Hebrew word is actually much stronger than the English word "follow".

The Hebrew word means "to pursue".

It is word used for hunters who hunt down their prey.

So goodness and loving mercy relentlessly pursue us for our own good.

But we can also think of Goodness & Loving Mercy as “result” of our Christian living that are left behind us as we leave.

The ultimate example I suppose would be found in the word “Legacy”.

Our legacy is what follows us, what we leave behind.

LET YOUR LEGACY BE GOODNESS & LOVING MERCY


Q: What kind of trail are you leaving behind you?

In other words, what follows you?

What do you leave behind you as you go through your day?

A plane can leave what looks like a trail of smoke behind it in the sky.

What do others see coming behind you?

“You are the light of the world…let your light shine…that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

-Matthew 5:14

The fact that you can

“Be Jesus to others”

is the fact that

“He is always Jesus to you”.

The fact that you can leave Goodness & Loving Mercy

wherever you go,

Is because

Goodness & Loving Mercy

Follow you wherever you go.

So go, in peace.

Go, in Goodness.

Go, in Loving Mercy.

And go with God.

Via con dios… In Jesus’ name.

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