The Lord is My Shepherd

 

The Lord is my Shepherd

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 name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil...

Psalm 23:1-4

King David wrote Psalm 23 supposedly toward the end of his long life. He had lived through many trials. Not once had the Lord forsaken him in any of his afflictions. Not once had the Lord withheld mercy or pardon from him when he had grieved Him and committed terrible sins.

King David fell far short of being perfect yet the Lord in His word called him "The man after God's own heart." How is it that the holy righteous God could call a man who had committed adultery and murder and caused a terrible plague to come upon his own nation that had caused thousands to suffer and die,  "a man after His own heart?"

As I meditated on this and prayed and read through the Psalms that David wrote, I encountered something that God saw in David and that He is looking for in each of us: a humble and contrite heart.

The Lord says in Isaiah "...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."  (Isaiah 66:2)

"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." ~(Isaiah 57:15)

Each time David sinned God corrected him and he repented from his heart. David was human and he fell sometimes as we all do. It is impossible to be perfect and it is a mistake to think that we can be.

That is why the Lord Jesus, the holy Son of God, had to come to the earth to suffer and die as a man for us on the cross. He spilled His precious blood so that He could redeem our souls. His sacrifice pays the ransom for our sins so that we might be released from the curse of the Law that demands we keep an impossible set of rules and regulations in order to be saved. God showed us that it is impossible for weak humans to be good enough to save ourselves by our own righteousness.

St. Paul wrote in Ephesians "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We cannot save ourselves no matter how good we are.

That is why God can call David a man after His own heart: because David recognized his sinfulness and humbly confessed his transgressions to God. David humbly tried to walk with God but when he got his eyes off the Lord and fell, he allowed the Lord to bring him back by confessing yet again his sins.

He did not run away from God and hide his face in shame and say as Judas did after betraying Christ, "I've blown it, I can never be forgiven..." Judas went and hung himself filled with remorse over his terrible sin. He never bothered to ask for forgiveness. he was certain there was no way he could ever be forgiven. 

There is no sin that the blood of Jesus cannot wash away except the sin of totally rejecting Him, which is the ultimate blasphemy of His Holy Spirit. He said to His disciples that blasphemy of His Holy Spirit was an eternal sin and could never be forgiven in this world or the next.

As long as we have life and breath there is hope.

Jesus said, "This is the work of God, that you believe on the One whom He has sent." John 6:29

Jesus can forgive any sin we have committed. David proves this. Our God loves the humble but the proud He knows far off, His word declares.

David was a humble man with a contrite heart and that is what the Bible says draws our Lord close to a person.

"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalm 24:18)

There is nothing you have done that God cannot forgive this side of eternity. Trust in Him. He cherishes you.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." ~(Psalm 51:17)

David wrote, "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want..."

I looked up the original word for "want" in my Bible dictionary and it can mean many things. The most interesting thing it can mean is fail.

This verse can read, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not fail..."

David never did fail..because the Lord was his Shepherd throughout his whole life. God never failed his precious son nor ever failed to keep one of His promises to him. This is because God is love (1 John 4:8) and Love never fails.(1 Corinthians 13:8)

Prayer

Heavenly Father, may you help us understand that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves; You have done all the work that ever need be done to save us in giving Your only Son Jesus Christ as our sacrifice on the cross. May we know that there is no sin nor shame too great for Christ's blood to cleanse and wash away for You have said in Your word that You continually forgive all our sins and toss them away as far as the east is from the west. May You assure all Thy people of this truth and open their eyes to receive Thy Son Jesus Christ into their hearts and be made righteous by His blood. May You write their names in Your book of Life. In Jesus name. Thank You Lord, Amen.

Peaceful Prayer Songs: © 2014 Suzanne Davis Harden "The Lord is My Shepherd": Illustration by Suzanne Davis Harden © 2014 All Rights Reserved.

If you would like a copy of "The Lord is My Shepherd " mixed media painting (*without the watermark) contact me at info@wingsofthemorningpublications.com   (Your original 8 1/2" x 11" inch Mixed Media Fine Art Print will be printed on archival quality premium paper with archival inks and signed on the back. Matted or unmatted)

 

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