Check the Record
Pastor Stephen Hayes
August 25, 2019
Main Idea– Near the end of his life – after all he had been through and had experienced – King David could declare with confidence that God provided him with nourishment, restoration, guidance, and protection.
The Book of Psalms
- The Book of Psalms in the Old Testament is a collection of prayers and songs that were part of the Israelite worship experience.
- One might regard Psalms as a type of hymnal; giving us a glimpse of what the Old Testament worship services might have been like.
- King David wrote most of the psalms. Although, many were written by other Israelite worship leaders.
- David wrote Psalm 23 – perhaps the most famous psalm – near the end of his life.In it, he reflected on his life-long personal experience with God’s faithfulness.
Evaluate God based on His record
- It can sometimes be tempting to blame God for the bad things that happen to us.
- Jesus is our Savior, but life can still break us. It is good to depend on each other for strength and encouragement. James 5:16 – Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- Even though we should support one another, we should not put our whole trust in other humans. Only God is fully trustworthy.
- Do not blame God for the shortcomings of other people (or for the consequences of your own mistakes.)
- However, you can hold God accountable for the things He has promised.
God will take care of you
- Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads 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; for You are with me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
- The word “Lord” in this psalm is the Hebrew word “Yehovah” which means self-existent and eternal.
- You can be assured that a God who is self-existent and eternal – a God who sacrificed His Son for you – will provide and take care of you.
- God has not promised to give you what you want, but – rather – what He knows you need. Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- One thing that will inhibit God’s ability to shepherd you is if you continually act upon your own “wants” without allowing Him to guide you to your “needs”.
- If you allow Him to shepherd you, God has promised to give you peace. He will actually give you a peace that eliminates your tendency to want things(“I shall not want” v-1). Philippians 4: 6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Psalm 23 promises nourishment
- “He makes me to lie down in green pastures” (v-2).
- If you are allowing God to shepherd you, when things are going well in your life, He will makeyou rest. Otherwise, your tendency in those times might be to run on adrenaline; to neglect the proper care for your body and soul.
- God knows you better than you know you. If you are allowing Him to shepherd you, you will rest so you do not wear yourself out.
Psalm 23 promises restoration
- “He leads me beside the still waters” (v-2).
- Still waters are like a mirror: one can see one’s reflection.
- In the same way, if you allow God to shepherd you, you will be able to become aware of the unseen things about yourself. God will reflect back to you things about which you were not aware.
- That peaceful process will keep you on track. You will not stray far from your original path.
Psalm 23 promises guidance
- “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (v-3).
- The credit goes to God for every good thing that happens to you, and through you.
- Knowing that will prevent you from trying to do things according to your own agenda, and for your own glorification.
- Your focus will be on God and where He is guiding you.
Psalm 23 promises protection
- “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (v-4).
- You are never in a situation God of which God is not aware.
- Even if you are not aware of it, His hand will never abandon you.
- If you let Him, God will faithfully lead you through every tough time. He did it for David all through his life, and He will do the same thing for you.
- Go to God with your requests in prayer. Then, praise Him for His nourishment, restoration, guidance, and protection.
Reflective Questions for Check the Record
- Why is it important that God should make us rest during the good times of our lives?
- Do you remember a time where God restored you by showing you something about yourself of which you had not been aware? How did that awareness actually restore – or bring you back to – the right path?
- Do you know of other times where God guided and/or protected you, as promised in Psalm 23?
- To be shepherded, one must be willing and teachable.Identify at least one good quality about yourself that demonstrates you are “shepherdable”.