In Psalm 23, David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”. To be in want is to be in need of or destitute. When the Lord is your shepherd, one thing you won’t “want” is peace with your shepherd. With your shepherd, you will find:
Peace in the pasture – v.1-3. The Lord has been awfully good to us. We are, indeed, like sheep lying down in green pastures and drinking from still waters. He has, in fact, restored our souls. We are peaceful, like well fed and nourished sheep. We are very comfortable in the well-maintained paths of righteousness.
Peace in the valley – v.4. The scene changes in verse 4. David is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. The truth is that in the dark valley is where we find “thou art with me”. When we are in the green pastures, we are more aware of our comforts than we are of the Lord of our comforts.
It’s in the valley, where evil awaits, that we learn so much more about our shepherd. Paul wrote, in Phil 3:10, that he would know the Lord in the fellowship of his sufferings. That’s when God becomes very real, personal, and intimate with you.
Peace in the conflict – v.5. Now we find David in the presence of his enemies. We hadn’t seen them before. However, if you live close to the Lord, you are going to encounter some enemies. And in the presence of your enemies, the Lord prepares a table.
In the testimony of Darlene Deibler Rose, a CMA missionary to New Guinea, Darlene describes the horrors of being in Japanese captivity during WWII. The man in charge of her POW camp was a ruthless tyrant. The conditions in the camp were unbearable. Yet, by God’s grace she kept an exemplary testimony.
However, when Darlene learned that her husband had died in another camp, she began to grieve and weep. The camp commander called her into his office and encouraged her not to lose her smile (she was such an encouragement to the other captives). She took this opportunity to witness to him of God’s love for him and Jesus’s sacrifice for his sins. The commander left the room in tears.
Prov 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him”. There’s more to tell of Darlene’s testimony. Yet, suffice it to say, that the Lord prepared her a table of peace in the conflict.
Conclusion: You have a good shepherd when you have Jesus as your Savior. And with him, you have peace with your shepherd. When you follow where he leads, he’ll grow sweeter everyday, even in the valleys and in the presence of your enemies.
Yo listen to and read the next sermon in this series, see Our Shepherd.