I was teaching my Sunday School class today on the 23rd Psalm and it got me thinking about some things and so I thought I would blog about it. The info I am sharing is coming from a book called Traveling Light by Max Lucado. When David wrote the 23rd Psalm he did not write to speak of green pastures, his thesis is not rest. He will describe death's somber valley, but his poem is not an ode to dying. He will tell of the Lord's forever house, but his theme is not heaven. Why did David write the 23rd Psalm? To build our trust in God....to remind us of who he is. In this Psalm David devotes 115 words to explain the first two: "The Lord".
Do you sometimes treat the Lord like a genie in a bottle. Convenient. Congenial. Need a parking place, date, field goal made or miss? All you do is rub the bottle and POOF it's yours. And what's even better, this god goes back in the bottle when you are done with it.
Or do you want a sweet grandpa. So soft hearted. So wise. So kind. But very, very, very old. Grandpa's are great when they are awake, but they tend to doze off when you need them.
If you have ever held these views of God then you know the problems they cause. A kind grandpa is to weak to carry your load. And if your god is a genie in a bottle, then you are greater then he is. He comes and goes at your command. A god who looks nice but does little.
Our Shepherd is one who knows us from the beginning of our life until the day we die. Psalm 139:1-18 says
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
Our Shepherd know us inside and out. How do sheep recognize there shepherd? They know his voice, do you know the Shepherds voice???????????
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