The Lord Is My Shepherd All Through The Bible
I lead a retreat called A Walk with Good Shepherd. I developed this in 2004 and have used it many times since then, most recently with a group at the Prince of Peace Abbey. You can use this handout to guide you in a time of Scripture meditation and prayer for a personal retreat or to leading a group.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23. Throughout the Bible we see that truly, The Lord is our Shepherd I shall not want.
Ive organized the Shepherd and sheep Bible passages according to the spiritual journey in Psalm 23, relating each Bible verse to Davids beloved Psalm, phrase-by-phrase.
When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them .
WINTER: BLESSING OF RESTING IN GOD
The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want: Worship
Because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock I will rescue my flock: .
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary .
Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen .
He makes me to lie down in green pastures: Trust
James Montgomery Wrote The Lord Is My Shepherd Which Is Based On Psalm 23 As Well As Other Hymns You Sing Weekly
Psalm 23 reads:
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Using that passage of scripture as a foundation, James Montgomery composed the lyrics to The Lord Is My Shepherd. Born in 1771 in Scotland, Montgomery wrote 400 hymns during his life. A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, Prayer Is the Souls Sincere Desire, and Angels From the Realms of Glory are some of Montgomerys most recognizable pieces of work.
Above, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings The Lord Is My Shepherd. The hymn is included twice in the current LDS Hymnbook. Once as a hymn for the general congregation and again as a hymn for a womens choir. For more information on the history behind this hymn, listen to Episode 14 of the History of Hymns series on The Mormon Channel.
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If The Lord Is My Shepherd I Have Protection
Sports teams often take animal names Bulls, Bears, Tigers or Panthers but there are no sports teams that call themselves Sheep. Sheep dont incite fear. They arent strong, quick or intimidating on the contrary, they need protection.
While it is comforting to think of the Lord as a shepherd, it is humbling to think of ourselves as sheep. We are in danger and need protection. The danger we face is because we are separated from the shepherd. The Bible says, All we like sheep have gone astray . God has a path He wants us to tread, a path of following Him and friendship with Him. However, we have all gone astray. Our sin takes us away from God and, instead of enjoying His fellowship, we are under His condemnation.
For two reasons we cant get ourselves back on track. First, our nature is sinful. Not only can we not walk that path, we cant even want to walk that path: we have an inbuilt bias toward sin. Secondly, our sins are violations of Gods law, so even if we somehow had both the desire and ability to walk in fellowship with God, justice would demand our punishment.
So we are lost. Is there any hope? Not in ourselves and not in religion. The religions of this world can neither satisfy God nor sanctify sinners. But there is hope in the gospel. The Lord Jesus said that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost . He came as the answer to our twofold problem. This can be seen in John 10, where He calls Himself the good shepherd .
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I Shall Not Want While Walking Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death:
In the same Psalm where David boldly declares I shall not want, he also writes of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
David didn’t say, “I shall not want” in a season of abundance. He said it in a season of darkness. So what that tells me is, this satisfaction that our Shepherd provides is not conditional. We don’t have to live by the statements:
If I had this then this. . . . If this happened then I would. . . . If they accepted me then this. . . . .
When the Lord is our Shepherd, and He is, then we lack nothing. Period.
Now it’s really hard to get to that point because we constantly live in this lack mentality, to always think of what we don’t have, haven’t done, or haven’t achieved yet. But this Psalm is telling us it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or accomplished God is enough. When He is leading and guiding us we are not lacking. He will fulfill us in ways that we simply can’t on our own. An empty cup cannot pour into itself. A sheep cannot lead itself. We cannot be truly fulfilled without God. But with Him, we shall not want.
I wonder when David said “I shall not want,” was it a statement that he already accepted as true, or was it a reminder to himself not to seek satisfaction outside of God.
I wonder how much would our lives change if we didn’t live from a mental lack but lived by the truth that the Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.
The Responsibility Of A Shepherd
A shepherd is a leader of the sheep. He takes care of and tends the sheep. A shepherd feeds the sheep. He ensures their basic needs are met. The shepherd also protects the sheep from wolves, and the shepherd leads and guides the sheep where he wants them to go. So a shepherd protects, provides for, and leads his sheep. David is saying thats what the Lord does for his people.
But this is not just any shepherd. No, he says my shepherd. Not their shepherd. Not our shepherd. My shepherd. Yes, its true that the Lord is the shepherd for all of Gods people, but here we see the personal and intimate relationship between one of Gods people and him. In fact, My Me I are saturated in this one Psalm. While strictly an individualistic way of relating to the Lord should be avoided, we cannot help but see the intimate relationship that God here has with one of his people. We sometimes refer to Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. And thats appropriate he is intimately involved in each of his childrens lives.
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Uses In Christian Tradition
The Lord Is My Shepherd
For Christians the image of God as a shepherd evokes connections not only with David but with Jesus, described as “Good Shepherd” in the Gospel of John. The phrase about “the valley of the shadow of death” is often taken as an allusion to the eternal life given by Jesus.
The Reformation inspired widespread efforts in western Europe to make biblical texts available in vernacular languages. One of the most popular early English versions was the Geneva Bible . The most widely recognized version of the psalm in English today is undoubtedly the one drawn from the King James Bible .
In the Roman Catholic Church, this psalm is sung as a responsorial in Masses for the dead. In the Church of England‘s Book of Common Prayer, it is appointed to be read on the evening of the fourth day of the month.
The psalm is a popular passage for memorization and is often used in sermons.
God Cares For Us Spiritually
3He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.
Our Shepherd cares for us, and He is able to restore our souls.
Our soul is comprised of our mind, will, and emotions. Theres not one person on the planet who hasnt experienced some pain, disappointment or grief in their soul. But the good news is this: our Shepherd cares for us, and He is able to restore our souls. He restores and heals our minds and emotions, renewing and strengthening our very lives!
Our Shepherd also leads us in the right way. In John 10:27, Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. When we submit to His will and His way, we can be sure that Hell guide us along the path that is best for us. And for the sake of His name and His glory, He guides our wills to line up with His.
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The Lord Is My Shepherd Bible Verses
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Psalm 23, also known by “The Lord is My Shepherd” Scripture is one of the most popular Bible passages of all time. This Psalm describes God as our good shepherd who cares for us and looks over us. There are several other Bible verses about Jesus, the Lord, and God being a shepherd. Be encouraged and experience a peace-filled heart and mind with the below Bible verses similar to Psalm 23 that reveal to us how much God wants to lead and protect us!
Why Do We Need A Shepherd
Now if the Lord is our Shepherd, that makes us the sheep. Prone to wander. Entirely and always reliant on our Shepherd, whether we realize it or not.
But here’s what we need to understand: we can’t see God as Shepherd if we don’t see ourselves as sheep. When we open our eyes to how much we really need and rely on God for everything, the more we realize His provision in our lives. But if we live in the lie that we can do this on our own, we wander and drift away from our true source, looking for satisfaction in artificial places.
So when David says “I shall not want” he is acknowledging how completely reliant he is one God as his Shepherd.
âI shall not wantâ because God, as a good shepherd, will ensure I have everything I need. âI shall not want,â not because of what I’ve done or can do but because God loves me. âI shall not wantâ because I know God personally as my Shepherd.
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The Lord Is My Shepherd: Psalm 23 Explained
Psalm 23 is one of the most popular and beloved psalms in the Bible. We often hear it recited at church or during times of mourning, yet its more than just a beautiful, poetic stanza.
Before David became king of Israel, he was a shepherd. He took care of and protected flocks of sheep, and he wrote this psalm describing God as a shepherd and Gods people as His flock.
Through this beautiful metaphor, Psalm 23 gives us invaluable insights into the character of God and His plan for His children.
What Is The Meaning Of The Lord Is My Shepherd’ In Psalm 23
Psalm 23 is in Book 1 of a larger collection of 150 songs located in the middle of the Old Testament. Written by David and several other authors, the Psalms are poems, most of which were used in temple services. They all express deep emotions, whether in praise, worship, confession, or repentance to God. Though the Psalms werent meant to document specific events, they were often influenced by life experience. Some of Davids songs seem to reflect certain episodes he went through – Psalm 23 seems to have echoes of his boyhood job as a shepherd.
As David presents God as a shepherd, he compares His people to sheep. The intent was to highlight the total devotion Christians are meant to have toward their Lord. Under His care, well find security and safety:
- Sheep are completely dependent on their shepherd
- They receive safety, food, and guidance from the shepherd
- They follow and obey the shepherd on instinct
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How The Israelites Would Have Heard This
As soon as an Israelite would have heard the first line of this Psalm, or song, his or her mind would reflect on how God recused the Israelites from Egypt. As one commentator pointed out, the first few verses are meant to remind the reader or the singer of Gods provision and protection for his people escaping Israel. All those years in the wilderness, all those trials the Israelites faced, and all those wandering years and yet the Lord cared for and provided for them every step of the way.
The Israelites to whom this was written often feared not having water and food provided for them, but for you, that may not be your struggle. For some, you might be struggling with the Lords provision and care in other areas. This Psalm is a reminder that the Lord will lead and guide and protect and provide for his people in every situation.
Lesson Guide Psalm 23
Read Psalm 23 from your Bible.
Verse 1: Ask your children if they remember David in the Bible. Remind them that he was a shepherd boy and knew about looking after sheep. Ask what a shepherd does to look after sheep? David cared for his sheep, protected the sheep, fed the sheep, led the sheep to water and food, and so on. But David knew that God cared for him even more.
David said, The Lord is MY Shepherd. Talk about how David had a personal relationship with the Lord. Give examples, such as my dad or my mom. Show how these are special personal relationships. Share about your personal relationship with Jesus.
Verse 2: Ask your child if they like it when you tell them its nap time or bedtime? How about when they are told its time to stop playing outside or eating sweets? Or to take some medicine? Sometimes parents ask children to do things they dont like because its the best thing for them.
David knew that God always does what is best for His sheep. Verse 2 says, He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. God knows what is good for us even if we dont.
Verse 3: Hide two sheep images in the room. Ask your child to find a picture of a sheep. Make sure it is difficult to find. If they give up looking, ask them if they would like you to lead them to the sheep. If they find the first sheep. Ask them to come back to you and then say you will lead them to the second sheep. Notice how its much easier to be led to the right place.
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The 23 Psalm Points To Jesus
Psalm 23 points you to Jesus. Heres a quick look at how:
David used to risk his life for the sheep Jesus laid down his life for the sheep. David and Moses are referred to as shepherds Jesus is the greater shepherd. A traditional shepherd lays down his life to protect the sheep Jesus lays down his life to provide salvation for his sheep.
The New Testament pictures Jesus as our great shepherd. In John 10:11 Jesus says, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for you. He took upon himself the wrath of God so you wouldnt have to. If he was willing to die for you to purchase salvation and give you the gift of eternal life, isnt he powerful enough to continue to provide for you and take care of you all the days of your life? He went up high on the cross so that he can be down low with you in the valley of the shadow of death to help you with whatever you are going through. He does not promise to spare you from trouble, but he does promise to be with you in your trouble.
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