As opposed to last week when Winn preached on a very long Psalm 22, we now turn to a short, familiar, and precious Psalm to many over the centuries: Psalm 23. The familiarity of this Psalm speaks much to the comfort it provides in all stages of life. Some of you learned this psalm as a child, which speaks to how picturesque and accessible this psalm is. Some of you have this on your wall. Many of us hear this read at funerals, either in person or, oddly enough, on TV and in movies.
Given that the Lord is our shepherd, this means that we are His sheep. Our good shepherd, Jesus Christ, tells us that the sheep are His while the goats are not (Matthew 25:31-46). He also warns us of wolves who come in pretending to be sheep, but who want to harm the fold. Elsewhere, in John 10, he warns us about the thieves and strangers who try to slip in.
The LORD is our shepherd. The eternal, transcendent God is our shepherd. When I was starting out in ministry, my pastor would have be help him with funerals—either pray or read Scripture. He coached me in reading Psalm 23 by saying, “The Lord is my shepherd—I shall not want! He makes me to lie down in green pastures,” etc.
Yet, this Psalm is not primarily about us, but it’s about God. Are we the beneficiaries having him as our Shepherd? Absolutely!