Playlist: Safe and Sound Part 1 | TBN

Playlist: Safe and Sound Part 1

Watch Playlist: Safe and Sound Part 1
December 10, 2016
27:31

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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Playlist: Safe and Sound Part 1

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  • [mus
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  • [music
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  • [music]
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  • Make a connection, make a connection
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  • at the foot of the cross.
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  • female: Welcome to this edition of "The
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  • Connection" with Skip Heitzig.
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  • Life is full of peaks and valleys, calm streams and
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  • roaring rapids. At times, it feels like there's
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  • nowhere to go. Though you may not know
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  • what will follow, you can know whom to follow.
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  • In this study of Psalm 23, Skip Heitzig points out that no
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  • matter what circumstances you face,
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  • when you follow God, you're safe and sound.
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  • Before we get started, we want you to know that we'd love to
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  • hear from you. If this message strengthens
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  • you spiritually, please send us an email to
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  • mystory@calvaryadq.org.
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  • And if you'd like to support this ministry financially,
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  • at the end of the broadcast, we'll tell you about a valuable
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  • resource available to you for your gift to "The Connection."
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  • So, let's get started. Follow along in Psalm 23 as
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  • Pastor Skip Heitzig presents the message "Safe and Sound."
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  • male announcer: Pastor Skip Heitzig scrolls through the
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  • Psalms, exploring the very nature of God and his
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  • relationship with humankind in the series "Playlist."
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  • Life is full of peaks and valleys,
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  • calm streams, and roaring rapids.
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  • At times, it feels like there's nowhere to go.
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  • In this study of Psalm 23, Pastor Skip points out that no
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  • matter what circumstances you face,
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  • when you follow God, you are safe and sound.
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  • Skip Heitzig: "The Lord is my shepherd,
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  • I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in
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  • green pastures. He leads me beside the still
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  • waters. He restores my soul.
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  • He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's
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  • sake. Yea, though I walk through the
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  • valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are
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  • with me. Your rod and your staff, they
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  • comfort me. You prepare a table before me
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  • in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil,
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  • my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall
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  • follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the
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  • house of the Lord forever." Of all of the 150 expressions we
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  • call the Psalms there is no psalm that is quoted,
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  • recited, memorized, inscribed on cards than the 23rd Psalm.
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  • It is without question, of all of the Old Testament passages
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  • of Scripture, the most famous Old Testament passage.
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  • Everybody knows it. Even unbelievers know this
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  • passage. Agustin called it the martyr's
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  • hymn because so many Christian martyrs recited Psalm 23 when
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  • they went to their deaths as they were tortured for Christ.
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  • Abraham Lincoln often referred to this psalm during his deep
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  • days of depression during the Civil War.
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  • George W. Bush recited it to a nation that was weary and
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  • wondering after September 11, 2001.
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  • For 3, get this, 3.000 years, that's how long ago it was
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  • written, this psalm has brought comfort to millions of God's
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  • people. It is a psalm that a child can
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  • grasp, it's that simple.
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  • But it's the kind of a psalm that a theologian could drown
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  • in, it's that deep. It was Alexander Maclaren,
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  • the great Scottish expositor, who said, "The world could spare
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  • many a book better than this sunny little psalm.
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  • It has dried many tears, and supplied the mold into which
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  • many hearts have poured their peaceful faith."
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  • But it is my belief that Psalm 23 is misunderstood,
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  • at least misapplied. Because when do you typically
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  • hear Psalm23, at what? Funerals.
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  • It's inscribed in crematoriums, and cemeteries,
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  • and funeral homes. The Lord is my shepherd,
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  • it's on sympathy cards. And that is because there's a
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  • little phrase in verse 4 that says, "Though I walk through the
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  • valley of the shadow of death," and so it is included at times
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  • of physical death. But this is a psalm that has
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  • way more to do with life than it does with death.
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  • It's a psalmist's relationship to the living God in his own
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  • life. That's why he says, "Surely
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  • goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."
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  • A Miami doctor said, and I agree with him, "The 23rd psalm
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  • has been enshrined on a marble pedestal for far too long.
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  • We need to take it down, and break it up, and use it."
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  • And that's what we want to do today as we have this little
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  • devotional, this meditation on Psalm 23.
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  • It's time for us to take these truths off of sympathy cards,
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  • and inscribe them on our own hearts.
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  • Now, Psalm 23 has been called the shepherd's psalm for obvious
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  • reasons. But if you look a little more
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  • closely at the psalm, you'll discover that it's not just
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  • about sheep and a shepherd. It covers much more.
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  • Allow me to explain. When you open up in verse 1,
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  • it speaks about the Lord in the third person.
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  • He is this and he is that.
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  • When you come to verse 4, there's a change to the first
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  • person. David now speaks directly to
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  • God, not as much as a shepherd as to a friend.
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  • It's personal. Then in verse 5, there's another
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  • change. We go from outside, outdoors,
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  • the valley, the field to inside, the tent.
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  • Or if you will, the home. So, the first part of the psalm
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  • is in the field, the second part of the psalm is in the
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  • valley, and the third part is in the tent.
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  • So, I want to look at this psalm in three parts.
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  • As a shepherd, God gives us direction.
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  • As a friend, God gives us protection.
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  • And as a host, God gives us provision.
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  • Let's begin with the first, the shepherd.
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  • "The Lord is my shepherd," writes David, "I shall not want.
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  • He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
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  • He leads me beside the still waters.
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  • He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of
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  • righteousness for his name's sake."
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  • As a shepherd, God gives us direction.
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  • Now, I don't know what your high school was like,
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  • but do you guys remember FFA? FFA, Future Farmers of America.
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  • Was anybody in FFA? Okay, a few of you.
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  • Unless you were in FFA, Psalm 23 makes no sense to us.
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  • In fact, most of us don't even know a shepherd.
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  • And it's not like one of the normal occupations that we have
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  • in our society. It's not your ordinary
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  • occupation. But David himself was a
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  • shepherd in Bethlehem. He came from a family of
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  • shepherds. And we know that David was
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  • out keeping his sheep as he was selected to be the next
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  • king of Israel. The idea of God being our
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  • shepherd is one of the most, without a doubt, beautiful and
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  • comforting metaphors in all of the Bible.
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  • One of my favorite verses of Scripture that speaks to this is
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  • Isaiah chapter 40 that declares, "He shall feed his flock like a
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  • shepherd. He shall gather the lambs
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  • in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently
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  • lead those who are with young."
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  • So, the picture is the care that a shepherd gives to his sheep.
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  • And certainly Psalm 23 implies care.
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  • We have a shepherd who takes care of us, his sheep.
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  • I don't know if you know this or not, you probably do,
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  • but sheep do not take care of themselves very well.
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  • Sheep will die unless they have a shepherd who will take care of
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  • them. They require more meticulous
  • 00:08:55.080 --> 00:09:00.050
  • care and attention than any other form of livestock.
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  • And so, it's no surprise that the Bible over 200 times refers
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  • to us as sheep because of the tendency that sheep have.
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  • For example, Isaiah 53. All we like sheep have what?
  • 00:09:15.290 --> 00:09:21.090
  • We've gone astray. We have all gone our own
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  • way, that's what sheep do. Back in 2005 in eastern Turkey,
  • 00:09:24.260 --> 00:09:33.050
  • there were 1.500 sheep gathered together in one spot.
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  • There were several flocks with several shepherds who all got
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  • together, put their flocks in one place while the shepherds
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  • went off and ate breakfast together.
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  • Apparently, nobody was watching the sheep.
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  • Suddenly, one little sheep had an idea.
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  • And that is, "I'm going to jump over that cliff."
  • 00:09:57.190 --> 00:10:01.070
  • And he did. And apparently, all the other
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  • sheep thought that sheep knew where he was going.
  • 00:10:04.190 --> 00:10:08.250
  • So, 400 of them followed him before they finally found out
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  • that 400 sheep had died going over a cliff.
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  • The estimated loss was $74.000, really,
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  • I mean, I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
  • 00:10:26.090 --> 00:10:30.070
  • They lost that much money. In fact, get this, the only time
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  • in the Bible that sheep are ever seen in a favorable light
  • 00:10:35.160 --> 00:10:40.070
  • is when they are under a care of a good shepherd.
  • 00:10:40.080 --> 00:10:44.140
  • Now, David was a shepherd. And so, when he writes this,
  • 00:10:44.150 --> 00:10:47.120
  • he's not doing this as an insult to himself or to those
  • 00:10:47.130 --> 00:10:50.190
  • of us who are his readers, but in elation that God is
  • 00:10:50.200 --> 00:10:57.200
  • his shepherd. It's like a kid bragging about
  • 00:10:57.210 --> 00:11:00.140
  • his father, "Look at who my dad is."
  • 00:11:00.150 --> 00:11:03.020
  • Here's David saying, "Look at who my shepherd is.
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  • Look at who my owner, my manager is.
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  • The Lord is my shepherd." How many of you own pets?
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  • Let me see a show of hands. How many of you own pets?
  • 00:11:14.210 --> 00:11:17.190
  • Okay, some of you need to own pets if that's all.
  • 00:11:17.200 --> 00:11:23.060
  • So, have you ever known a dog owner that you may not say it to
  • 00:11:23.070 --> 00:11:27.090
  • them, but you think these thoughts,
  • 00:11:27.100 --> 00:11:29.030
  • "They should not own that dog. That poor little dog never gets
  • 00:11:29.040 --> 00:11:32.250
  • out, never gets taken for a walk, never gets groomed,
  • 00:11:32.260 --> 00:11:36.140
  • just sort of runs around in the backyard and barks,
  • 00:11:36.150 --> 00:11:37.240
  • barks, barks all day long." You think they should not own
  • 00:11:37.250 --> 00:11:40.050
  • that dog. But then there's the other
  • 00:11:40.060 --> 00:11:44.050
  • end of the spectrum, where you have the obsessive dog owner.
  • 00:11:44.060 --> 00:11:48.290
  • They get little sweaters for their dogs,
  • 00:11:49.000 --> 00:11:51.090
  • and little shoes for their dogs, and they're primmed and proper.
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  • They--like Paris Hilton carries her dog everywhere she goes.
  • 00:11:54.250 --> 00:11:59.000
  • And you go, "Oh, that is, like, so crazy.
  • 00:11:59.010 --> 00:12:01.020
  • That is so overboard," right?
  • 00:12:01.030 --> 00:12:04.020
  • However, if you were a dog and you could choose which owner to
  • 00:12:04.030 --> 00:12:09.130
  • have, the first one or the second one,
  • 00:12:09.140 --> 00:12:11.180
  • you know you would take number two.
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  • You'll take Paris Hilton any day over the dog who never gets out.
  • 00:12:13.280 --> 00:12:19.130
  • And here is David saying, "Hey, hey,
  • 00:12:19.140 --> 00:12:21.220
  • my manager, my owner is the Lord himself."
  • 00:12:21.230 --> 00:12:26.220
  • These are bragging rights for David.
  • 00:12:26.230 --> 00:12:30.240
  • The other day, I read an article.
  • 00:12:30.250 --> 00:12:33.030
  • The National Science Foundation has committed to spending $10
  • 00:12:33.040 --> 00:12:36.290
  • million to build robots for children.
  • 00:12:37.000 --> 00:12:42.130
  • They call them personal trainers for children.
  • 00:12:42.140 --> 00:12:45.150
  • In their words, to influence their behavior and their eating
  • 00:12:45.160 --> 00:12:48.180
  • habits. These are technological
  • 00:12:48.190 --> 00:12:53.140
  • shepherds they're inventing. They plan to introduce them
  • 00:12:53.150 --> 00:12:57.170
  • into homes, deploy them into schools, to teach children
  • 00:12:57.180 --> 00:13:01.050
  • English, and to encourage kids to exercise.
  • 00:13:01.060 --> 00:13:05.280
  • Last time I checked, those were called parents,
  • 00:13:05.290 --> 00:13:10.030
  • and those were called teachers. And I don't want a robot as
  • 00:13:10.040 --> 00:13:13.260
  • a shepherd for my children, or for me, or for my
  • 00:13:13.270 --> 00:13:16.270
  • grandchildren. I want parents and teachers who
  • 00:13:16.280 --> 00:13:20.100
  • are pointing their way to the Lord, like David did, saying
  • 00:13:20.110 --> 00:13:23.200
  • the Lord is my shepherd. It implies care.
  • 00:13:23.210 --> 00:13:28.070
  • God will care for you. It also implies guidance.
  • 00:13:28.080 --> 00:13:33.200
  • You know, sheep, they do not navigate very well.
  • 00:13:33.210 --> 00:13:38.120
  • All of us like sheep have gone astray.
  • 00:13:38.130 --> 00:13:41.080
  • They do that very easily. Finding their way back home,
  • 00:13:41.090 --> 00:13:43.210
  • not a chance. I have a pretty smart little dog
  • 00:13:43.220 --> 00:13:47.180
  • I've told you about. I've bragged about my little
  • 00:13:47.190 --> 00:13:48.290
  • dog. And we took our dog out
  • 00:13:49.000 --> 00:13:50.260
  • not even at our house. We put the car in the car, drove
  • 00:13:50.270 --> 00:13:53.230
  • it to a different neighborhood, got out, walked around by the
  • 00:13:53.240 --> 00:13:55.200
  • river. And the dog ran away and
  • 00:13:55.210 --> 00:13:58.080
  • got lost. An hour later, our dog
  • 00:13:58.090 --> 00:14:02.040
  • was waiting back at our car in a foreign neighborhood,
  • 00:14:02.050 --> 00:14:08.000
  • but had enough sense to navigate all the way back
  • 00:14:08.010 --> 00:14:10.150
  • to where he got out of the car. One smart dog.
  • 00:14:10.160 --> 00:14:13.180
  • A sheep will never do that. There are birds that can,
  • 00:14:13.190 --> 00:14:17.160
  • like, navigate around the world. A sheep will never do that.
  • 00:14:17.170 --> 00:14:22.040
  • Salmon know who to go upstream to spawn.
  • 00:14:22.050 --> 00:14:24.130
  • A sheep will never do that.
  • 00:14:24.140 --> 00:14:27.060
  • I saw in Israel one time a flock of sheep gathered by a well.
  • 00:14:27.070 --> 00:14:31.050
  • I thought they were just drinking out of the well.
  • 00:14:31.060 --> 00:14:32.280
  • And I got closer to photograph it, and I noticed that all these
  • 00:14:32.290 --> 00:14:36.040
  • sheep had their little heads smashed into the fur, the
  • 00:14:36.050 --> 00:14:40.150
  • bodies of other sheep, just sort of like hiding.
  • 00:14:40.160 --> 00:14:43.010
  • And their little tails were sticking out in a circle.
  • 00:14:43.020 --> 00:14:47.010
  • And the poor shepherd had to break them up with his staff
  • 00:14:47.020 --> 00:14:50.210
  • just to be able to lead them. That's the nature of sheep,
  • 00:14:50.220 --> 00:14:55.210
  • but the nature of shepherd is to guide.
  • 00:14:55.220 --> 00:14:59.170
  • So, you'll notice twice in our psalm, once in verse 2 and
  • 00:14:59.180 --> 00:15:03.020
  • the other in verse 3, it says, "He leads me beside the
  • 00:15:03.030 --> 00:15:07.230
  • still waters. He leads me in paths of
  • 00:15:07.240 --> 00:15:11.120
  • righteousness." If there is one thing in
  • 00:15:11.130 --> 00:15:14.010
  • this Psalm that ought to set your mind at ease, it's this.
  • 00:15:14.020 --> 00:15:18.100
  • You have a personal guide. You know, I speak to a lot
  • 00:15:18.110 --> 00:15:23.140
  • of Christians and have for a lot of years, and one of the
  • 00:15:23.150 --> 00:15:26.050
  • common questions that we have is, "How do I find the
  • 00:15:26.060 --> 00:15:30.040
  • Lord's will for my life? How do I get direction for
  • 00:15:30.050 --> 00:15:33.080
  • my life? I want guidance for my life."
  • 00:15:33.090 --> 00:15:37.210
  • And what they expect I think to hear from me is sort of a one,
  • 00:15:37.220 --> 00:15:41.190
  • two, three, A, B, C formula for how to determine God's will.
  • 00:15:41.200 --> 00:15:47.040
  • If you memorize this Scripture, and take this step, and counsel
  • 00:15:47.050 --> 00:15:49.290
  • with this person, bingo, you'll find God's will every time.
  • 00:15:50.000 --> 00:15:53.030
  • And I think we're so hung up with guidance that we forget we
  • 00:15:53.040 --> 00:15:57.200
  • have the guide living in us. We want direction when God
  • 00:15:57.210 --> 00:16:03.140
  • is saying, "Hey, I the director will live inside of you."
  • 00:16:03.150 --> 00:16:09.190
  • Now, if you were traveling to a foreign city like New York City,
  • 00:16:09.200 --> 00:16:13.150
  • would you rather have a complicated set of instructions
  • 00:16:13.160 --> 00:16:16.160
  • to get you around town? Or how about this, what if a
  • 00:16:16.170 --> 00:16:20.040
  • local resident said, "Yo, let me get in the car with you.
  • 00:16:20.050 --> 00:16:26.170
  • I'll show you my town." You go, "Yeah, I want that guy."
  • 00:16:26.180 --> 00:16:30.240
  • You've got that guy, you have the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:16:30.250 --> 00:16:33.260
  • Jesus said, "When the Spirit of truth is come,
  • 00:16:33.270 --> 00:16:36.180
  • he will guide you into all truth."
  • 00:16:36.190 --> 00:16:40.100
  • I know sometimes we wonder, "Well, how is that going
  • 00:16:40.110 --> 00:16:42.050
  • to work? Is he going to give me an
  • 00:16:42.060 --> 00:16:43.160
  • impression in my heart? Am I going to have to memorize
  • 00:16:43.170 --> 00:16:45.010
  • a Scripture? Is it going to be to the
  • 00:16:45.020 --> 00:16:46.240
  • counsel of others?" Answer, yes, all of the above.
  • 00:16:46.250 --> 00:16:52.120
  • Relax a little bit, you're just a sheep.
  • 00:16:52.130 --> 00:16:56.060
  • Leave that to the guide, the director.
  • 00:16:56.070 --> 00:16:59.090
  • He leads, he guides. His second phrase, "I shall
  • 00:16:59.100 --> 00:17:07.060
  • not want." "The Lord is my shepherd,
  • 00:17:07.070 --> 00:17:08.280
  • I shall not want." Now, I've discovered that
  • 00:17:08.290 --> 00:17:12.060
  • not everyone who says the first part can actually say with
  • 00:17:12.070 --> 00:17:15.120
  • honesty the second part. The Lord is my shepherd,
  • 00:17:15.130 --> 00:17:20.140
  • but not everybody can say, "I shall not want."
  • 00:17:20.150 --> 00:17:23.110
  • We live in a society filled with discontentment.
  • 00:17:23.120 --> 00:17:29.230
  • We're always looking at what other sheep are eating.
  • 00:17:29.240 --> 00:17:34.110
  • "Hey, that guy has greener pastures than I have.
  • 00:17:34.120 --> 00:17:37.130
  • Lord, I trust you like they do. I serve you like they do.
  • 00:17:37.140 --> 00:17:41.070
  • How come their pasture looks so much better than my pasture?
  • 00:17:41.080 --> 00:17:45.060
  • It's greener over there." The Lord is my shepherd, I
  • 00:17:45.070 --> 00:17:49.020
  • shall not want. There's a great little book
  • 00:17:49.030 --> 00:17:52.110
  • called "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23," by Phillip Keller.
  • 00:17:52.120 --> 00:17:55.130
  • Some of you have seen it, it's an old book.
  • 00:17:55.140 --> 00:17:58.010
  • It's the musings of an actual shepherd who was raised in east
  • 00:17:58.020 --> 00:18:01.190
  • Africa, later on became a shepherd by occupation in
  • 00:18:01.200 --> 00:18:04.260
  • Canada, who raised sheep for a living before he became a lay
  • 00:18:04.270 --> 00:18:08.140
  • pastor. And he said, "I remember in
  • 00:18:08.150 --> 00:18:12.020
  • my flock, there was one particular little ewe lamb,
  • 00:18:12.030 --> 00:18:16.160
  • a female sheep who was beautiful.
  • 00:18:16.170 --> 00:18:19.260
  • Beautiful constitution, beautifully formed body,
  • 00:18:19.270 --> 00:18:24.130
  • but always discontented. He called this sheep a fence
  • 00:18:24.140 --> 00:18:29.010
  • crawler because no matter what pasture he led his sheep into,
  • 00:18:29.020 --> 00:18:34.110
  • and he said, "My pastures were the greenest pastures in
  • 00:18:34.120 --> 00:18:37.010
  • the area. I had this one little sheep who
  • 00:18:37.020 --> 00:18:40.190
  • would always move to the edge, and sort of look out to
  • 00:18:40.200 --> 00:18:44.110
  • see what's over there." He eventually called her Ms.
  • 00:18:44.120 --> 00:18:47.170
  • Gadabout because she was always gadding about, looking for
  • 00:18:47.180 --> 00:18:52.020
  • other pastures. I wonder if God doesn't have
  • 00:18:52.030 --> 00:18:56.220
  • some sheep like that, who are disgruntled, who are always
  • 00:18:56.230 --> 00:19:03.220
  • complaining. And may I be quick to add that
  • 00:19:03.230 --> 00:19:06.150
  • a complaining sheep is a disgrace to the shepherd?
  • 00:19:06.160 --> 00:19:11.030
  • Because a complaining sheep reflects the kind of care that
  • 00:19:11.040 --> 00:19:16.000
  • that sheep thinks the shepherd is giving him or her,
  • 00:19:16.010 --> 00:19:19.250
  • or not giving him or her. And imagine how unbelievers feel
  • 00:19:19.260 --> 00:19:27.060
  • when they look at complaining sheeps' lives.
  • 00:19:27.070 --> 00:19:30.220
  • You're trying to win people to Christ and you're always
  • 00:19:30.230 --> 00:19:32.270
  • complaining and moaning, you know what they're thinking?
  • 00:19:32.280 --> 00:19:35.040
  • "I don't want to follow your shepherd.
  • 00:19:35.050 --> 00:19:36.210
  • He doesn't take very good care of you,
  • 00:19:36.220 --> 00:19:38.020
  • or so it seems, because you don't ever seem happy with him."
  • 00:19:38.030 --> 00:19:42.140
  • The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
  • 00:19:42.150 --> 00:19:46.290
  • Contentment does not come from what we have.
  • 00:19:47.000 --> 00:19:50.210
  • Contentment comes from whom we have.
  • 00:19:50.220 --> 00:19:54.050
  • And if the Lord is your shepherd, you ought to be able
  • 00:19:54.060 --> 00:19:58.220
  • to declare firmly and confidently, "I shall not want."
  • 00:19:58.230 --> 00:20:04.290
  • As a shepherd, he gives us direction.
  • 00:20:05.000 --> 00:20:08.040
  • There's a second principle I want to discuss with you,
  • 00:20:08.050 --> 00:20:11.070
  • and that is as a friend, he gives us protection.
  • 00:20:11.080 --> 00:20:14.130
  • Now, you'll notice the pronoun changed in verse 4 from speaking
  • 00:20:14.140 --> 00:20:18.050
  • about he and his in the third person,
  • 00:20:18.060 --> 00:20:21.110
  • he speaks now directly to the Lord.
  • 00:20:21.120 --> 00:20:24.100
  • "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
  • 00:20:24.110 --> 00:20:27.190
  • I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
  • 00:20:27.200 --> 00:20:31.210
  • Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
  • 00:20:31.220 --> 00:20:37.070
  • Now, immediately this tells me that life is not always going to
  • 00:20:37.080 --> 00:20:41.240
  • be about green pastures and still waters.
  • 00:20:41.250 --> 00:20:46.250
  • There's going to be some valleys that I walk through.
  • 00:20:46.260 --> 00:20:49.290
  • And I know we don't like that. We hate valleys.
  • 00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:53.010
  • I don't meet many people that go,
  • 00:20:53.020 --> 00:20:54.160
  • "Oh good, I'm in a valley right now.
  • 00:20:54.170 --> 00:20:56.230
  • It's dark down here, praise the Lord."
  • 00:20:56.240 --> 00:20:59.130
  • I think knowing the shepherd, we should be able to say that,
  • 00:20:59.140 --> 00:21:01.280
  • but typically we go, "Lord, please get me out of this
  • 00:21:01.290 --> 00:21:04.150
  • valley, just get me out of this valley,
  • 00:21:04.160 --> 00:21:05.280
  • just deliver me from this valley.
  • 00:21:05.290 --> 00:21:07.080
  • Just carry me from mountain peak to mountain peak to mountain
  • 00:21:07.090 --> 00:21:09.140
  • peak in Jesus' name, hallelujah."
  • 00:21:09.150 --> 00:21:14.020
  • But there are going to be some valleys.
  • 00:21:14.030 --> 00:21:15.150
  • Shepherds will lead sheep down into the valleys.
  • 00:21:15.160 --> 00:21:17.240
  • Over in the Middle East, where this scene takes place,
  • 00:21:17.250 --> 00:21:21.270
  • when it gets really, really hot outside like it is these days,
  • 00:21:21.280 --> 00:21:26.040
  • shepherds will move their sheep down into the ravines.
  • 00:21:26.050 --> 00:21:29.100
  • They called them the wadis. And sheep hate it.
  • 00:21:29.110 --> 00:21:36.150
  • Sheep don't have great eyesight, and they hate walking downwards
  • 00:21:36.160 --> 00:21:40.230
  • into a shadowed dark ravine. But the reason that the shepherd
  • 00:21:40.240 --> 00:21:44.270
  • brings his sheep down there is because it's cooler down there.
  • 00:21:44.280 --> 00:21:49.030
  • And that's where the streams of water are running at the bottom
  • 00:21:49.040 --> 00:21:52.230
  • of the ravine. In other words, sometimes the
  • 00:21:52.240 --> 00:21:56.270
  • darkest valleys are pathways to the greenest pastures.
  • 00:21:56.280 --> 00:22:03.010
  • The sheep don't know that. They go, "Oh, this is scary.
  • 00:22:03.020 --> 00:22:05.030
  • Oh, I hate these valleys." Just wait, it's going to be
  • 00:22:05.040 --> 00:22:07.190
  • cool down there, and it's going to be beautiful and refreshing.
  • 00:22:07.200 --> 00:22:12.060
  • And I've met many a believer who has testified to the fact that
  • 00:22:12.070 --> 00:22:15.060
  • though they're going through a difficult time in their life,
  • 00:22:15.070 --> 00:22:18.060
  • and it's the trial of a lifetime so to speak,
  • 00:22:18.070 --> 00:22:21.090
  • that's where they meet the Lord. They have direct contact with
  • 00:22:21.100 --> 00:22:24.020
  • God and his comfort in a way they've never experienced
  • 00:22:24.030 --> 00:22:26.240
  • before. So, you'll have some valleys.
  • 00:22:26.250 --> 00:22:32.090
  • Verse 4 also tells me that you'll have some dark valleys,
  • 00:22:32.100 --> 00:22:36.060
  • what David calls the valley of the shadow of death.
  • 00:22:36.070 --> 00:22:40.200
  • Now, this is why it's recited at funerals because of that phrase.
  • 00:22:40.210 --> 00:22:46.000
  • But it doesn't necessarily refer to physical dying.
  • 00:22:46.010 --> 00:22:50.180
  • The Hebrew word is figurative of gloom or calamity.
  • 00:22:50.190 --> 00:22:56.100
  • Here's a guy who isn't dying.
  • 00:22:56.110 --> 00:22:58.050
  • Here's a guy who's living, but experiencing a dark valley,
  • 00:22:58.060 --> 00:23:01.250
  • the valley what he calls the shadow of death.
  • 00:23:01.260 --> 00:23:05.070
  • But let me say this. Even when you do come to
  • 00:23:05.080 --> 00:23:08.080
  • an end of your life and you do die,
  • 00:23:08.090 --> 00:23:11.260
  • it's going to be okay. Death is sort of like going
  • 00:23:11.270 --> 00:23:14.200
  • into a valley. And when you approach that
  • 00:23:14.210 --> 00:23:18.230
  • time to die, it feels dark, it feels like you're going down,
  • 00:23:18.240 --> 00:23:24.260
  • your movement is limited, your breathing is coarse.
  • 00:23:24.270 --> 00:23:28.230
  • It seems so dark, but you're not going to stay there,
  • 00:23:28.240 --> 00:23:31.250
  • you're going to come out of the valley.
  • 00:23:31.260 --> 00:23:35.030
  • Though I go through the valley of the shadow of death,
  • 00:23:35.040 --> 00:23:37.230
  • not live forever in the valley.
  • 00:23:37.240 --> 00:23:40.130
  • And then you awake, and you have arisen
  • 00:23:40.140 --> 00:23:42.030
  • on the other side in pure light.
  • 00:23:42.040 --> 00:23:45.090
  • It's like walking through a valley.
  • 00:23:45.100 --> 00:23:47.000
  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon used to say, "Death is not the house,
  • 00:23:47.010 --> 00:23:50.070
  • it's just the porch." It's just leading you somewhere.
  • 00:23:50.080 --> 00:23:55.210
  • And notice it does not say the valley of death,
  • 00:23:55.220 --> 00:23:59.050
  • but the valley of the shadow of death.
  • 00:23:59.060 --> 00:24:04.240
  • Can a shadow hurt you? Can the shadow of a dog bite
  • 00:24:04.250 --> 00:24:09.140
  • you? Can the shadow of a sword
  • 00:24:09.150 --> 00:24:13.070
  • or a knife cut you? The valley of the shadow of
  • 00:24:13.080 --> 00:24:19.070
  • death cannot destroy you. The substance of death or
  • 00:24:19.080 --> 00:24:24.210
  • the sting of death, as Paul said, has been removed.
  • 00:24:24.220 --> 00:24:28.050
  • Only the shadow remains. That's why David says, "I
  • 00:24:28.060 --> 00:24:30.250
  • will fear no evil." The other thing this tells me
  • 00:24:30.260 --> 00:24:36.020
  • in verse 4 is that you can find comfort in the valleys, for
  • 00:24:36.030 --> 00:24:38.260
  • he notices, "I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
  • 00:24:38.270 --> 00:24:43.260
  • Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
  • 00:24:43.270 --> 00:24:49.040
  • David is now speaking of the equipment that a shepherd
  • 00:24:49.050 --> 00:24:51.240
  • carries. There's two pieces of equipment
  • 00:24:51.250 --> 00:24:53.220
  • every shepherd would carry. A staff, a staff is the crook,
  • 00:24:53.230 --> 00:25:00.070
  • and a rod. The rod is the club.
  • 00:25:00.080 --> 00:25:03.290
  • So, the staff or the crook is for directing sheep.
  • 00:25:04.000 --> 00:25:08.270
  • The club or the rod is for protecting sheep.
  • 00:25:08.280 --> 00:25:13.120
  • It was a little club that hung from the belt of a shepherd,
  • 00:25:13.130 --> 00:25:16.140
  • and often had nails in it. It was for one purpose, and
  • 00:25:16.150 --> 00:25:18.230
  • this is to beat up wolves. And you can imagine little sheep
  • 00:25:18.240 --> 00:25:23.020
  • looking up at his shepherd, and seeing that weapon hanging from
  • 00:25:23.030 --> 00:25:26.120
  • his side going, "I'm comforted by that.
  • 00:25:26.130 --> 00:25:30.010
  • I know that if the predator comes my way,
  • 00:25:30.020 --> 00:25:32.270
  • I've got the kind of a shepherd who will give me protection."
  • 00:25:32.280 --> 00:25:39.100
  • In the New Testament, we have already read in 1 Peter that
  • 00:25:39.110 --> 00:25:42.180
  • Peter describes Satan as a roaring what?
  • 00:25:42.190 --> 00:25:45.200
  • Lion, seeking whom he may devour.
  • 00:25:45.210 --> 00:25:50.170
  • But you need to know that that lion cannot get to you until he
  • 00:25:50.180 --> 00:25:56.010
  • goes through your shepherd.
  • 00:25:56.020 --> 00:25:58.160
  • And if he allows any exposure at all to you,
  • 00:25:58.170 --> 00:26:02.070
  • it will be very calculated for your own growth.
  • 00:26:02.080 --> 00:26:05.080
  • He just won't let you at his disposal.
  • 00:26:05.090 --> 00:26:09.240
  • That should be very, very comforting to you.
  • 00:26:09.250 --> 00:26:12.280
  • 'Cause I know, again, a lot of believers,
  • 00:26:12.290 --> 00:26:14.150
  • it's always, "The devil is this, and the devil is there,
  • 00:26:14.160 --> 00:26:17.050
  • and the devil did that." Okay, great.
  • 00:26:17.060 --> 00:26:20.180
  • Don't worry about him, you have a shepherd.
  • 00:26:20.190 --> 00:26:23.130
  • female announcer: That's all the time we have for today,
  • 00:26:24.220 --> 00:26:26.020
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