Paul from the UK has asked for a bit more content from Psalm 23 to posted...
Here is a bit more content with some TOC screenshots...
Sufficiency in God
I. The great name—Jehovah. In Egypt thousands of gods, but no Jehovah.
II. A great faith—”My Shepherd.”
III. A great sufficiency—”I shall not want.” The insatiable character of man. Life a hunger and thirst, intellectual, social, emotional. David’s contentment arose from finding sufficiency was in God. The Lord was more to him than the manna, or the stream in the wilderness. He is sufficing beyond all thought, feeling, hope. To whom is He thus? To the weary, troubled, perplexed, and penitent. (G. S. Reaney.)
The shepherd God
But let us notice the result in us.
1. First, there is the banishment of want. David says, “I shall not want.”
2. The Good Shepherd banishes fear. David says, “I will fear no evil.” Perhaps there is no blessing so great for the happiness of the soul as the driving away of fear, which God does for those who give their hearts to Him. He rescues us from the fear of punishment. He takes away the fear of the judgment. The man who has received a pardon from the President of the United States has no longer any fear of punishment for his crime. What a blessed relief that is! God takes from us also the fear of death. How many have been held slaves to the fear of death. Many people are so afraid of death that they will not attend a funeral service.
3. Finally, what a beautiful and glorious hope the shepherd God holds out to us of the future life, toward which He is willing to lead us through all our life’s journey. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Our Good Shepherd said to His friends just before He went away, “In My Father’s house there are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.” (L. A. Banks, D. D.)
Personal relationship with God
“My Shepherd.” Every believer is not only permitted to say, but has that within him which constrains him to say, “O God, Thou art my God.” It should be to us a source of unfailing comfort to know that His nature undergoes no change or modification when it is directed towards us and the exigencies of our condition. The wisdom, the power, the goodness with which He controls the affairs of the universe are in their measure available for our individual needs. And as the shepherd knows each sheep of the flock, and calleth it by its name, so God knoweth each of us, and gives Himself to us with the whole energy and affectionateness of His being.. There exists between God and ourselves a distinct personal relation. He recognises the individuality of every human soul, and ascribes to it a separate worth. Bound as we are by innumerable ties to the great brotherhood of men, we are, in the deepest centre of our life, isolated from them, and stand before God alone. Under many current systems of thought this individuality is endangered. Beyond the ken of an omnipresent spirit and the power of an almighty friend we cannot go. He is about our path and our bed, and the secret thoughts and desires and needs of all hearts are open to Him. We may be weak, obscure, despised, but He thinks of us with as special a care and as devoted a love as if we alone, in all the vast universe of men, were dependent upon Him and claimed His gracious aid. (James Stuart.)
Confidence in the Shepherd
It is not as a literary gem, rich and rare though it be in that respect, that its chief attraction lies. What renders it so exceedingly precious to the experimental believer are the blessedness of its truths and the sublimity of its sentiments—the delightful spirit it breathes and the hallowed impressions it produces. By it the faith of God’s people in every age has been confirmed, their hearts have been gladdened, their hopes elevated, and their strength renewed. “The Lord is My Shepherd.” Our faith is greatly lacking as respects three things:
1. It is not sufficiently confiding.
2. It is not sufficiently realising. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.”
3. It is not sufficiently appropriating. (Anon.)
A deep consciousness of God
I. The deep consciousness of God that pervades the Psalm. Its great outstanding thought is God. And God, too, present to the mind and heart of the writer: a living, personal agent, who touches his life at every point, and with whom he holds conscious and happy intercourse. Here we have a man evidently walking not by sight but by faith. This consciousness of God manifested itself in two ways.
1. He found in his own humble employment as a shepherd a representation of God, and a means of fellowship with Him. By the thoughtfulness, tenderness, sympathy, and care he exercised in his shepherd calling he learned and realised the heart and character of God.
2. His daily employment was to him a symbol of God, and of God’s relation to him.
II. The relation of God to the individual life. Nowhere is God presented in such close relations with individual life and experience as in the Psalms of David. We have here the precious scriptural doctrine of a special providence. It is objected to this doctrine, that it is derogatory to the greatness of God that He should be thought of as concerning Himself with the minutiae of life. But “great” and “little” are only relative terms. It enhances His greatness that He can comprehend at once the vast and the minute.
III. The happiness of the man whose God is the Lord. One characteristic of the Psalm is its repose, its serene enjoyment.
IV. The man whose God is the Lord can look hopefully into the future. In order to do this he must be reconciled to God, and regenerated and renewed in the spirit of His mind. (Alexander Field.)