Psalm 23 Shepherd

Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is perhaps the most comforting and well-beloved Psalms ever and is arugably the best known passage from the entire Bible. It is quoted and referenced even by the lost. It appears on keychains, in movies, in songs and often is part of funeral services. Interestingly enough, even though we are in the 21st century, the most quoted version of this popular Psalm is from the King James Version.

Tonight we will begin with an introduction to how to understand the imagry in the Psalm. Then we will work through the Psalm by comparing two very different translations – the King James Version and the New English Translation.

Both are excellent translations which are faithful to the Hebrew but which approach translation from two different angles. The KJV surprisingly includes more nuances of the Hebrew allowing shades of meaning from word roots to impact the words used in the translation. The NET takes a more literal approach. THis makes for a more sterile version of the Psalm in my opinion, but it offers clarity and depth when taken together with the KJV.

After noting the differences between these versions we work through the Psalm – key phrase by key phrase until we reach the end. The result I hope, is a better understanding of this wonderful Psalm as well as a better picture of our relationship with our Shepherd.

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My God, My God

Psalms 21-22

Dying spiritually – which is to be separated from the Father – was the death Adam and Eve died IN THE DAY they rebelled in the Garden. Their spiritual connection to the Father was severed!

The prophet Isaiah clearly says that the Father laid upon Jesus the iniquity of us all. That it PLEASED the Father to crush Him, when He made Jesus’ very soul an offering for sin. That it was when the Father knew the travail of Jesus’ soul which was poured out unto DEATH that He was satisfied that the price had been paid.

The word “iniquity” in Isaiah 53:6 is the Hebrew word עוֹן (‛āwōn). It is a masculine noun meaning iniquity, guilt AND PUNISHMENT.

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Psalms David Saul Resurrection

Psalms 15-20

In these Psalms David ponders who can approach God and dwell in His presence. He concludes that this is for those whose character is like His.

He also has prayers and statements regarding God’s protection from his enemies – one of which was Saul. He shows great confidence in God’s response and bases his confidence on both God’s faithful love and his own uprightness. He had determined not to defend himself or seek personal vindication, but was handing all of this over to the Lord to do on his behalf. In his Psalm he records how he envisions God coming to his defense out of anger against David’s enemies. The imagery has God appearing in thick dark clouds with lightning bolts in hand. Yet in tenderness scooping up David and placing him in a place of safety all around.

David also uses the light and heat of the moon and sun respectively to illustrate how God’s words (both spoken and gleaned by experiencing the natural world) are clear for all to see. Then explains the specific benefits to be gained by the statutes, testimonies, precepts, instructions as well as the fear of the Lord.

This Psalm also has a prophetic set of verses which both Peter and Paul confirm under the New Covenant applied to Jesus’ resurrection.

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Psalms David

Psalms 9-14

These Psalms cover God being the judge of individuals, nations and the whole world. He is upright and just in all He does which is reason for the righteous to express gratitude to Him even in the middle of dispair out of a certain knowledge that God will eventually right all wrongs.

David is even confident that at the end of life all who are righteous will see God face to face.

In these Psalms God is seen as being in His very person a refuge to those in trouble. All that being said, the world at large has its heart set on worthless things, exalting in things which possess no real value. Their wicked hearts are restless being unstable and aimless in their wanderings mentally, emotionall, spiritually and even sometimes physically.

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Psalms David

Psalms 6-8

Psalms Book I: Psalms 6-8

These Psalms cover God’s chastening of His Own. Pleas for His correction to come with mercy. Grief and weeping all night from the evil attacks of enemies. Cries to God for deliverance. God’s protection and rescue.

This set of Psalms ends with a Psalm of God’s sovereignty over His creation which is also a prophetic foreshadowing of Messiah and events in His earthly life.

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