CLJ E 160828

your Bibles to psalm 23 anyone ever

heard of that one psalm 23 you heard of

that that song we're going to we're

going to walk through psalm 23 together

today so you can open your Bibles there

or you can just turn to it in your brain

if you haven't memorized Psalm 23 an

interesting dream this week I'm not a

big dreamer I do believe that God

sometimes speaks to us in our dreams

that doesn't happen to me often but two

weeks ago I had a dream sort of late

night early morning that I was sitting

with a member of this church cheese goes

to the Spanish side and together we were

reciting Psalm 23 in Spanish it was

pretty cool i was i was getting it in

spanish in my sleep that was cool we

were reciting it together and saying it

out loud it was a really vivid dream and

I woke up to the news that we knew that

this woman was very elderly and her

middle-aged daughter had been extremely

ill and had been near death and that she

passed away that night and that her

mother the last thing she did with her

daughter was recite Psalm 23 to her and

I dreamt it and and I really felt like

wow you know God why is it that your

people throughout the centuries feel

drawn to this Psalm at the most

difficult moments in life and sometimes

at the most happy moments in life why do

we feel a magnetism to these words and I

think it's because of the truth that

they express about the intimacy and

trust that we can have in our Lord Jesus

and I hope and pray that as we meditate

on this together this isn't going to be

fancy we're just going to walk through

it and meditate on it that we can

reconnect with things maybe God has

already told you threw this um and how

he's already touched you through it so

so I'm 23 and I'm going to read it

actually in the King James Version

because well you know sometimes you just

got to read in King James and that's

just the way it is so the Lord is my

shepherd

I shall not want he maketh me to lie

down in green pastures he leadeth me

beside the still waters he restoreth my

soul he leadeth me in 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

thou art with me thy rod and thy staff

they comfort me now prepares to table

before me in the presence of mine

enemies thou anointest my head with oil

my cup runneth 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 and ever God I thank

you I thank you Lord that you are the

one who speaks these words to us today

and I want to read it also in Spanish

that says hey Oh vozmi past or nada me

falte era en lugares de delegado space

toes miura descansar junto aguas de

reposo me pastor era con for Terra me

Alma me gira por Sen das de justicia por

amor de su nombre on que andan vajayjay

sombra de muerte no temere mal alguno

porque tu estas conmigo tu vara y tu

cayado men fund iran aliento addresses

Meza delante Damien presencia de mis

Angus theodora's une esma cabeza con

aceite mi copa estar de besando

ciertamente el viene la misericordia

mesa Gearin todos los dias de mi vida y

la casa de ova more arepa largos Diaz

and I will dwell in the house of the

Lord forever and ever amen amen may the

Lord speak to us God I pray that we

would hear the voice of the Shepherd

through these words today in jesus name

amen amen the Lord is my shepherd what a

great way to start huh you ever use that

word mine mine usually that's bad right

usually it's two kids pulling on a toy

right when you hear that word you know

and it's in its and it's Universal by

the way me or mine right but there's a

time when you can say my you know we did

I refer to the funeral that we were

doing a loved beloved member of this

church passed away this week and we had

her her homegoing funeral service and as

we did I just had to refer her to her as

our on nuestra Anna because she is ours

well guess what you have a shepherd and

he's not just any Shepherd he's my

shepherd remember a couple weeks ago we

talked about boasting in Hope and how

boasting is usually bad but boasting can

sometimes be good when we boast about

our God and how he is good to us this

first line is a boast the Lord is my

shepherd I shall not want that's a boast

in God do you have the Lord as your

Shepherd God wants you to be able to say

my shepherd you're mine now the

comparison right is a shepherd taking

care of sheep so the closest thing I've

never taken care of sheep I go to

petting zoos every now and then it

usually doesn't go well for whatever

reason something goes wrong they attack

my backpack I don't know but I think the

best comparison we could think of does

anyone here have a pet or maybe you had

a pet that you love you took good care

of well that's the analogy God is

comparing you to that dumb little puppy

and he is your owner and you'll have to

be smart but he's a good owner right

sheep don't have to be very bright in

fact they can be kind of goofy sometimes

I found some pictures that i liked

online of how cheap can be and sometimes

we just recently got an animal head like

right that's the way God views you see

some more do we have any other pictures

any other picture how about the one with

the no no let's go back to those later

the upside down ones later let's deal

with the ones like in there one with a

bucket and how about one with a tongue

okay okay as cool as cool if you find

any others there we go

it's good to be God's pet because he's a

good owner and he knows how to take care

of his pets they might not be very

bright they might make puddles on the

floor but they are loved and that is the

context of this God is my shepherd the

Lord is my shepherd the first thing a

good pet owner needs to do is feed the

pat right feed the pet that's his job

and it says the Lord is my shepherd I

shall not want he knows how to feed me

and God has been in the business of

feeding his people for an awful long

time way back in the Garden of Eden you

may have any of the fruit in the Garden

for food except for that one that you're

gonna go eat anyway but everything else

I have given to you for food God feeding

his people even when they go through

deserts right you know the stories the

people of Israel going through the

desert there was no food one day they

woke up and there was some strange do on

the ground and one crazy guy decided to

gather it and eat it to see what would

happen and he didn't die and then they

realized that it was bred on the sand

every morning they had no idea what to

call it so they named it manna which

means what's this well we'll eat it

because it's here every morning and they

would gather it up and if they gathered

enough for two days it would go rotten

because God God would provide for them

day by day by day he feeds his people

there's a beautiful story of the prophet

Elijah during a terrible drought he

visits a widow who wasn't even an

Israelite she lived in the region of

zero path outside of Israel and he asks

her for some some cakes and something to

eat right and she says I'm a widow with

a little boy and I don't have enough to

eat I just got a little flour and a

little oil and I'm just going out to

gather some sticks to make a fire to

cook a little bit of bread and so that

we can die is pretty depressing this

lady didn't have a lot of hope the

Prophet says to her here's what you're

going to do you who are going to use

that flour in that oil and make me a

cake in the name of the Lord and just

watch what happens the flower will never

run out and the jug

oil will never run dry until there's

rain in the land even if it's years

there were always be enough for you God

feeds his people does God feed you Jesus

himself he wanted he knew how much we

can worry about this he knew how hard

life can be so he said to his disciples

therefore I tell you do not worry about

your life what you will eat or about

your body what you will wear for life is

more than food and the body is more than

clothes consider the Ravens they do not

sow or reap they have no storeroom or

barn yet God feeds them and how much

more valuable are you than birds you

might be a goofy sheep but he loves you

and he'll feed you sometimes this might

be hard people might not know where the

next meal is coming from things might be

tight the Lord is your shepherd you

shall not want and we have seen in this

ministry over and over and over again

how God provides for his people a Sunday

doesn't go by without somebody coming up

to me and saying hey I just got a job

hey i just got housing i hear it every

week because god is a faithful Shepherd

with his people I've had the privilege

of moving people into their fancy new

apartments and seeing the way they live

and I like praise God you are good and

your love endures forever and what he

gives is good and he won't take it away

he's our shepherd we need to stay

focused on him our provider he is

there's a beautiful him in old churches

become thou fount of every blessing that

God is the fountain of every blessing

he's the source of everything I need

it's not about just driving and being

anxious and working hard work as good a

men planning is good but the source is

God God made his people go through the

desert and he fed them so that they

would learn the man does not live by

bread alone but by every word that comes

from the mouth of God even his name is a

name of provision the word Yahweh

Jehovah in Hebrew means I am

and it is meant to be filled in Jehovah

Jireh I am your provider Jehovah Nissi I

am your banner jehova sholom I am your

piece what do you need God is your

shepherd and he will provide for you and

Jesus picked that up you know Jesus was

talking with the Pharisees one day and

they said do you think you're better

than Abraham and Jesus said guess what

before Abraham was even born I am and

it's not that he was using bad grammar

he was saying that Yahweh from the

burning bush here and then Jesus filled

in the blank a few times I am the way

the truth and the life no one comes to

the Father but through me I am the bread

of life anyone who eats this bread will

never go hungry I am the resurrection

and the life the one who believes in Me

will live even though he dies and jesus

also said I am the good shepherd and I

know my sheep and my sheep know me Jesus

is your shepherd and you shall not want

it's good to be his sheep he knows how

to feed it he makes me lie down in green

pastures lie down in green pastures what

a beautiful image sometimes we just need

to stop and breathe amen anyone feel a

little stressed out anyone come from a

country where people weren't as stressed

out maybe life was hard maybe there

wasn't a whole lot but everyone seemed

to be able to breathe just a little bit

easier why has everyone such a hurry we

need to slow down you know sheep I here

I'm not a sheep expert but I read a

little bit there's a great book called a

shepherd reflects on some 23 by Timothy

Keller it's a great book I like half of

it very much it's about Shepherds

observations on Psalm 23 and he writes

in that that apparently she don't lie

down very easily they don't want to

settle down they don't lie down usually

because if there is any fear or anxiety

they won't go to sleep and you know that

makes sense because she / easy

target's cheaper not very fierce they

don't know how to fight back very well

so if they feel unsafe they won't sleep

sheep also don't always get along with

one another you've heard about the

pecking order among chickens well

apparently there's something called a

budding order among sheep the big ones

but the little ones out of the way and

take their food so they might be cute

but they're not very nice sometimes they

can but each other around it's hard to

go to sleep when you got these big guys

kicking you around they get parasites

they get tix they get fleas all kinds of

things go wrong she often won't rest

unless they are helped to do so the

Hebrew in this in this verse where he

says he makes me lie down as a Hebrew

form that involves a making it's making

you do something that you might not

otherwise do and we're like that right

we need a god that can settle and quiet

our hearts when we let our Shepherd calm

us down some amazing things can happen

there's a story in the Old Testament

where there was a certain man who was

alone in a garden and it wasn't good for

him to be alone and he looked and looked

and looked but no suitable helper was

found he was Restless he was lonely

there was anxious even though there

wasn't even sin in the world yet and God

made that man Adam fall into a deep

sleep and while he was sleeping God took

out the rib and made the woman sometimes

God needs to put us to sleep before he

provides for our needs cuz we're too

agitated to receive from him God did the

same thing with Abraham put him into a

deep sleep before he received a

revelation where the Lord appeared to

him in a pillar of fire and smoke and

spoke to him sometimes we need to be at

rest before God speaks to us this

happens to me when I go away on vacation

which doesn't happen often enough

although will this week for a few days

we're going to maine we're gonna go get

bitten by mosquitos in maine for little

while we're gonna go do our thing up

there but when i settle down suddenly

stuff starts i just start knowing stuff

that God shows me and this has happened

to me in in FEHB

worried boom you know something got a

certain person in my mind i text them

and they're getting surgery right then

or their wife is goodies things like

that were happening because suddenly I'm

quiet enough to hear the voice of the

Shepherd God needs to make a sly down so

that we can hear his voice sometimes you

just need to settle and relax and be

open to him elijah needed that didn't he

this great man of god he'd fought the

prophets of bail remember the story

calls down fire on the offerings and

then Jezebel threatens I mean he's

freaking out and he's running away he

goes under a tree and he gets depressed

and he wants to die and then God just

says you just need a nap and then you

need a good meal and he wakes up and the

angel says eat drink the journey is too

much for you he ate and drank went to

sleep again ate and drank went to sleep

again goes to a mountain there's an

earthquake there's storms there's all

kinds of things but God wasn't in the

wind he wasn't in the earthquake God was

in a gentle whisper that God spoke to

him we need to settle down to hear the

voice of God sometimes let God make you

lie down there is a Sabbath rest for the

people of God and Jesus invites us come

to me all you who are weary and heavy

laden and I will give you rest take my

yoke upon you and learn from me for I am

humble and gentle of heart and you will

find rest for your souls sometimes we

don't rest because we're too complicated

you're not been able to stop thinking

you're thinking too much right and you

just can't go to sleep because you're

thinking too much and it's hard to just

turn off the thinker it's hard to turn

off the brain sometimes well the beauty

of a sheep is that they're so dumb that

sometimes I don't even know what they're

supposed to be worried about right we

need to become more like that sometimes

like a child the Psalm 131 says my heart

is not proud of Lord my eyes are not

haughty I do not concern myself with

great matters or things too wonderful

for me but I have calmed and quieted

myself like a weaned child

with its mother sometimes we just need

to be like that baby that doesn't have a

care in the world and says I god I'm not

even going to worry about it I gotta let

you worry about it for me I'm just gonna

let you hold me right now he makes me

lie down in green pastures and God knows

the green pastures I want you to think

about your own physically places in your

life that you have seen or been that are

physically green pastures or that are

beautiful think of the most beautiful

place where you love that place you

could just breathe you know we have

people from all over the world it could

be a beach right it could be what is it

Punta Cana I don't know is that peaceful

I don't think too many resorts going on

barranquilla Santa mark that we got some

Hondurans here there's a lake right lago

de jehova right or roatan or maybe just

let's savor maybe you've been to Cape

Cod how about revere beach right Revere

Beach is kind of like how about

Houghton's pond where we had the

baptisms right some beautiful places in

this world how about a junkie right for

the boricua and Reynoso throws it's a

beautiful forest with waterfalls you

know could be a beach on Dominique or

tortola can't forget the islands amen

right you know my sister I've shared

this story before if you heard it when I

preach this last four years ago please

forgive me my sister has a little boy

who sometimes has a hard time settling

down right he gets he gets worked up and

very sensitive very aesthetic little boy

little fella and they were at the beach

at Cape Cod when he was little little

maybe maybe four or five years old

little little guy there at the beach and

it was a beautiful spectacular blue sky

and some of those wispy clouds in the

air and the waves were coming in and

this little boy was standing ankle-deep

in the water and he guy he got very

poetic he got poetic with my sister he

said mom look look at this beautiful

water look at the blue look at the wood

you know look at the wind right like you

can see it look at the clouds look at

the sky and he's making this gesture

right this this gesture to it to his

mother and my

sister my sister has so much wisdom she

says she says you know what the next

time you're feeling upset or sad or

anxious think about how you feel right

now and go back to this place now the

beauty is as Christians a green pasture

is not a place it's a person wherever my

shepherd is I can have a green pasture

at that moment it can be on a street

corner with sirens going by and honking

in that hot but if I've got my shepherd

there in the spirit he can make me lie

down in a green pasture peace I leave

with you Jesus said my peace I give to

you I do not give as the world gives so

don't let your heart be troubled and

don't be afraid peace of God passes all

understanding he makes me lie down in

green pastures and even during a storm

like Jesus slept in that boat he leads

me beside the still waters he restores

my soul refresh restore anyone ever get

really tired and you need to be restored

you need to be refreshed you're just

like I'm beyond tired I'm done what do

you do to fix yourself what do you do to

get refreshed how do we find relief

right I think if we're honest we will

admit sometimes we do so in less than

spiritual ways whether it be a big bowl

of ice cream whether it be watching a

ball game whether it be my and my wife

didn't want me to say this shopping

whether the netflix whatever it is we

have your escape where you go to try to

refresh yourself right now i don't want

to make you feel guilty for that enjoy a

good bowl of ice cream watch a good show

on netflix there's nothing wrong with

any of that but god knows what really

refreshes what really restores us right

you see the problem with sheep

apparently they will drink from any

water source available indiscriminately

they will bring drink from some nasty

disgusting water and get parasites and

get very sick because why well it's

there and I'm thirsty

so I'm drinking it but you'll get

parasites well I'm thirsty and it's here

and it's accessible but it's going to

kill you I look I'm thirsty I'm a sheep

you see our Shepherd knows how to lead

us to still waters that will refresh us

and leave us refreshed left to our own

devices we might try to refresh

ourselves in ways that are not going to

leave us refreshed that are going to

make it worse than ever God leads us to

those waters the words in this armor

very strong he lead he makes me lie down

he leads me beside the still waters

because she must be led she must be

guided I can't live my life on my own

anyway anyone trying to live your life

on your own how's that working for you

jannat yeah I need a shepherd cuz on my

own I'm not going to go anywhere good

thankfully jesus knows where the green

pastures are he knows where the still

waters are and he knows how to take me

there and that's a good thing I think

you know the whole conversation that

Jesus had with the woman at the well if

you've read the gospel of john in

chapter 4 there's a conversation where

jesus meets a woman at a well she's

drawing water and Jesus a surfer drink

and she's surprised because what's this

rabbi type guy talking to a woman and

she happened to be a Samaritan woman you

know what's he up to and Jesus said you

know what if you had asked I could give

you living water and she's like a living

water that sounds nice i don't have to

keep coming here she's kind of playing

with him I think and Jesus like you know

what why don't you go call your husband

and she says well I don't have a husband

he says you're right you don't have a

husband the guy you're shacking up with

now isn't your husband and you've had

five other guys up to now so what you

said is true I don't think he's trying

to make her feel guilty at that point I

was a little uncomfortable I think he's

just trying to say I know you and you're

looking for love in all the wrong places

you are looking for water that will

refresh you in ways that won't meet the

need you have in your heart many of us

do that we go from situation to

situation hoping it will fulfill us

hoping it'll make us feel finally at

rest and it never gets us there Jesus

says I've got living water they get into

a conversation about worship where they

should worship and Jesus says God is

worship is looking for worshipers will

worship in spirit and in truth and that

satisfies that is the stillwater that

meets your hearts need when you drink

that water a deep part of you is never

going to be thirsty again it becomes in

you a well of water welling up to

eternal life it's a good thing your

Shepherd knows what you need to drink

now it's interesting the language for

restoring our soul it uses the word shoe

which in Hebrew means turn or repent

it's very unusual word for restoring

someone's soul it's very unusual and I

don't know but I think it might be

referring to something that happens with

sheep like a sheep technical term that

apparently sheep can have something that

happens where they tip over where

they're laying down to get in a hole

they get comfortable and they start

rolling over next thing you know boom

they're on their back and then they're

stuck that way it's called being a cast

sheep so let's see some pictures of this

it's a very common thing google it

there's like you know hundreds of

pictures that is a tipped over sheet

right it's a cast cheap you want to show

a bunch more here we gotta put there's

another poor guy in the middle of the

field cast cheap let's keep seeing a few

more just so they can get an image of it

we'll leave it basically what happens is

once that sheep is tipped over and they

can't write themselves it can become a

serious thing if the Sun is beating down

on you and you're laying down like that

and you're a sheep you could die right

also an easy target for prey any bird

can come down and start packing right

it's a bad thing a cast cheap can die if

left that way the Shepherd's are

constantly watching the sheep so that

they can see which ones might be tipped

over so that they can go to that tipped

over sheep and tip them back up on their

feet again

anyone ever felt tipped over and we

never felt stuck that you made some

decisions or you got into a situation

that you feel like you just can't get

out of and now it's really pathetic once

those sheep are tipped over they start

flailing their little legs it's really

sad anyone ever felt like that I think

if it happens to us as people thank God

you have a shepherd who knows how to

turn your soul back to him he comes to

you and he can gently set you up again

now the Shepherd's say that once a sheep

has been laying upside down you know on

his back like that the blood you know

there's not a whole lot of blood flow in

those little bony legs and sometimes

they can be pretty wobbly for a while

before they're walking again takes time

to get back on your feet you need a

shepherd who can watch over you I praise

God that we're a church where people can

get back on their feet again and even if

they're wobbly for a while and tip over

again that we have a shepherd here who

can put us back on our feet thank God

it's good to be part of a community of

people where that happens our God is a

faithful God he can unstuck us like no

one else he leads me in paths of

righteousness for his name's sake the

wording here refers to paths that are

beaten down by a wagon wheel so that

they're firm paths paths that are firm

paths of righteousness as opposed to

mushy paths that might be shortcuts but

they're not firm paths they're muddy and

they're mushy and sheep can get stuck in

them a shepherd knows how to lead his

sheep on paths that are firm so that

they could walk along without getting

tangled without getting stuck in their

paths of righteousness and here's the

message what are the mushy pads in our

lives the places we walk that are mushy

and muddy and mucky and we could get

stuck in them well you have a shepherd

that wants to guide you in paths of

righteousness for his name's sake

because his honor his name is on you and

cause you are a Christian you're not

just anybody you're his sheep you're a

Jesus sheep we need to walk in paths of

righteousness where he guides us and

sometimes we don't know how to do it we

need somebody who can guide us there

praise God he knows how to do that and

even though 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

sometimes the right way isn't always

going to be the easy way okay I'm not

going to tell you that if you become a

Christian everything's going to be easy

all of a sudden God may guide you

through some dark valleys sometimes for

a good purpose apparently this refers to

the need to migrate cheap that

apparently during the summer months the

the lower elevations are become dried

out and they need to migrate to higher

ground so their Shepherd takes them on

long drives walking them up to higher

ground where they'll find the melting

snow coming down the mountains i guess i

get like i'm not an expert i just read a

little bit you know and they can find

greener pasture if they move up to

higher ground well it's like that with

us as Christians if we stay put if we

stay static we will stagnate God wants

to move us to higher ground even if it

means moving us through uncomfortable

paths sometimes apparently some of the

valleys this could be referring to would

be very steep kind of valleys where on

both sides there's cliffs and the sheep

are going through and the shadows are so

deep in fact in the Hebrew the wording

used is gloom death shadow deep shadow

dark shadow it doesn't sound like a

vacation spot anymore what's what's up

with the green pasture we go back to the

green pasture God's like we got to go

through here to get you to another green

pasture one that I have ordained for you

dark places are part of the journey but

the dark places if you notice the somme

changes here do you notice the

difference in this part of the

up to now he's saying the Lord is my

shepherd he makes me lie down in green

pastures he leads me beside still waters

how does it change here yea though I

walk through the valley of the shadow of

death I will fear no evil for thou art

with me it changes from third person to

second person it changes from talking

about the Shepherd to talking to the

Shepherd the somme becomes intensely

intimate in the darkness in the shadows

where the Sheep is saying even though

I'm in this dark valley of death you are

with me like you never have been before

because in the green pasture the Sheep

can just sleep and thank God the

Shepherd made them sleep and that's

wonderful but in the dark Valley they

need to know the Shepherd's right there

or they're going to be terrified it's

sometimes during those dark times of

life that we're going to know God is

close closer than ever but sometimes

it's so dark we might not even see the

Shepherd we might not see to the left we

might not see to the right you can't see

anywhere you can't even see the Shepherd

but you can feel his rod and his staff

comforting you that's a good thing some

of you have to you know what it is to

feel the rod and staff of the Shepherd

in the dark shadow you've lived that you

know what it is now the rod of the

Shepherd is that's that's a weapon

that's basically his ancient gun right

why would his rod be comforting to you

good to know that my shepherd is armed

to the teeth then he'll fight for me

that if something tries to come at me

I've got you just you just talk to the

hand here you talked to the he's got a

rod and you don't want to feel that rod

because I've got a god who's going to

fight for me very often when we sing

those Psalms about how the Lord is a

warrior we're celebrating that I've got

a God who fights for me and that's good

when we sometimes feel that the world is

against us it's good to have a big God

with a strong rod on our side but guess

what that rod isn't just intended for

the lion or the predator coming at the

sheep what else is that rod used for

the Sheep himself as a discipline right

in Spanish there's a good word a good

cocoa da so good it just it means a good

coconut clunk on the sheep when he's

about to do something dumb to kill

himself they say that some shepherds can

they'll have a rod that they could

actually throw if they need to as a

weapon and that she died anyone ever

experienced the discipline of God and he

gives you just a nice little slap to

keep you from going the wrong way the

difference between God's discipline and

Satan's condemnation is that when God

disciplines you it's for your good it's

cuz he loves us is cuz he doesn't want

us to kill ourselves so he loves us too

much to let us keep going our own way he

disciplines us his rod comforts us

there's one other use for the rod they

talk about sheep going under the

shepherd's rod it means the shepherd is

examining the sheep with the rod it's

like he's moving the wool out of the way

to check the skin for ticks right he's

looking for tix and parasites and

different things he's examining the

Sheep the rod of the Shepherd will

examine us the examination of God is not

a bad thing it's a good thing if we let

God know us through and through we say

search me O God and know my heart test

me and know my thoughts and see if there

be any wicked way in me and guide me in

the everlasting way open yourself to God

let him examine you his rod even though

it means uncovering a tick and it means

you gotta pluck it out which is not a

pleasant experience for some of you that

have had that experience you know but

it's better than having the tix day in

and then and later you'll be glad let

the Lord do his work he's a good

shepherd he's a good owner you can trust

him now it's not just his rod but his

staff comforts you the staff I think is

the the thing with the longer one with

the crook right his rod and his staff

that's the symbol of the shepherd I

heard of a beautiful image the sometimes

shepherds walking down a path might just

put the tip of the staff on the on a

sheep as they walk along

almost like a way of touching him not a

leash but to sort of a touching thing

God's staff his authority over you they

can use the crook to fish a sheep out of

the water out of the thickets and he

just plucks you out sometimes we need to

be plucked out of some prickers amen

thank God your rod and your staff they

comfort me I can't see you but I can

feel your touch in the midst of that

dark dark time now the psalm shifts at

this point okay yea though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of

death addition up to now it's a shepherd

and cheap the rest of Psalm 23 is not

about shepherds and sheep then you

prepare a table before me in the

presence of my enemies you come through

death a darkness of death and on the

other side there's the image of a home

and a table prepared in that home and a

place is set for you I have a little

theory and I wouldn't write a book about

it I wouldn't but but I have a little

theory that Psalm 23 is written on two

levels I think it's meant to be about

this life in our relationship with the

shepherd I think it's also a picture of

heaven that when we go through that

valley of shadow of death on the other

side there's a table waiting for us

jesus said let not your hearts be

troubled and do not be afraid in my

father's house are many rooms I go to

prepare a place for you and if I go and

prepare a place for you I'll come back

and I'll take you to be with me so that

you can be where I am I am the way the

truth and the life no one comes to the

Father but through me God prepared a

home for us think of how good it is to

come home and smell a meal right if you

go back to your if you've immigrated

from another country or maybe another

part of the country that may as well be

another country from Boston there's

nothing like going back home and

smelling that cooking that can only

happen there it's different it's

different i talked to people and I'm

like I was talking to an Italian

gentleman just last week and I said

where can I go in Boston to find just

that right Italian sauce which

restaurant in the north end and he just

looked at me and chuckled it's like a

sorry there is no no no maybe John y le

disagrees but he was like there is no

we're not even in the north end where

it's like it is there you gotta be home

there is a table prepared for us at home

where God welcomes us now I think that

Jesus you know God has been like I've

said he's been feeding his people for a

long time Jesus did a lot of eating with

people when he was on earth did knee he

ate with the sinners and tax collectors

Jesus ate even with Pharisees that

invited him over then he chewed him out

but he ate you know Jesus a in the

desert in the wilderness there was no

food there were thousands of people what

did Jesus do he multiplied the fish in

the loaves and they ate Jesus was a big

eater he was he was boricua he was

dominicano he was hunter and he was

hungry gringo he Jesus would eat at the

table he prepared a table for his people

he even says we talked about this a

couple weeks ago even after he rose from

the dead he's resurrected he's on the

seashore and what's he doing cooking

breakfast for Peter and the Apostles the

fish and the bread and then Jesus even

in heaven he says behold I stand at the

door and knock if anyone hears my voice

and opens the door I will come in and

eat with him and he with me Jesus wants

to sit down at the table with you now

there's another element of this song

last time I asked for advice before I

preach this our brother akin oj scheana

remember again remember accan we're

gonna have some nostalgic here since our

last day individuals he called and said

Greg I did some research and the

language for preparing a table is

technical language from the temple it's

not setting a normal table it is the

exact same wording used in the Book of

Leviticus where they would put the table

in the temple in the tabernacle and they

would set out the bread of the presence

its technical temple language I wonder

if David's talking about church if he's

talking about worshiping in the temple

where the bread of the presence is set

and the sacrifices are being made and

you can smell the burning like a great

cook out for the Lord and there were

sacrifices they would do we talked about

this before where

they would offer the bread the grain

sacrifice in the temple and the glowing

Shekinah glory of God is right there

they'd offer the bread they'd offer the

burnt offering and then they would sit

down you know what they would do with it

sacrifice a lot of the time fellowship

offerings they would eat it right there

they would sit down with the priests and

with the people with everyone and they

would have a meal in the glowing visible

presence of God over the tabernacle

shining at them they're sitting in there

eating in God's presence you prepare a

table before me in the presence of my

enemies praise God what's the what's the

deal with the enemies you prepare a

table before me in the presence of my

enemies you know I don't know if I know

exactly what that's referring to but I

gotta get got a couple little theories

David one day was running away from his

enemy Saul who was trying to kill him

remember David's running away and he and

his men were starving and were hungry

and they come to the to the tabernacle

to get in the tabernacle and they asked

the priest you have any bread here he's

like all I've gots leftover bread of the

presence but its holy it's been offered

to the Lord and David said that's the

bread that God has prepared for us and

he ate that bread and revived and there

was an evil man named oleg there a

horrible butcher just a wicked man who

ended up killing the priests of God who

was there watching him eat and David was

like even in the presence of my enemies

you prepare a table before me could be

that or it could be that those enemies

are now defeated and now I'm just having

a meal to celebrate I don't know what it

is whatever it is it's good it's a table

that is set for us and I believe it's a

picture of heaven when God will prepare

that table for us you anoint my head

with oil and my cup overflows how about

that anointing your head with oil you

see in those days you didn't take a lot

of showers you just put oil on and

believe it or not it was okay you know

it was good it was the equivalent of us

how they would bathe don't get me wrong

I'm not saying there wasn't bathing

until the 20th century but I'm just

saying that much of the time they would

use oil to freshen up right how do you

feel after a good shower and you put a

nice kind

close and you're feeling fresh again God

can do that for you some of us haven't

felt like that in years well that is

your future the good news about Psalm 23

is that God has a new normal for you if

you're one of his sheep there's a

different future ahead of you and it's

one where your head is anointed with oil

the oil of joy jesus said he came to

comfort all who mourn to provide for

those who grieve in Zion to bestow on

them a crown of beauty instead of Ashes

the oil of joy instead of mourning and a

garment of praise instead of a spirit of

despair God has oil for your head he has

a new future for you I love seeing that

idea sometimes you can almost see it in

a new believer can't you a person who

really meets Jesus and the life starts

to change it's almost like you can see

the oil on their forehead in the glow in

their eyes of course maybe that's the

result of the cup that they're drinking

from I don't know it says my cup runneth

over now usually a cup running over is

bad because you've got to clean it up

but sometimes it's good I remember when

I first went to an ice cream place in

Boston called Bailey's anyone that's

gonna look at his head were about to

remember that not a lot of people raised

their head yes Bailey's my mother used

to go there when she was a kid she was

raised in Somerville and it was it was

the best ice cream on the planet right

and I and my mother brought me there I

couldn't was probably my my daughter's

age six or seven years old and the guy

first asked why aren't these kids in

school what's going on in my there's no

he's with us he's on vacation and the

guy gave me a Sunday that overflowed

onto a silver like plate so you had the

sunday and then you had all the glop

that overflowed onto that plate my cup

runneth over of course you know this is

probably referring to wine though isn't

it isn't that scandalous is that good

way to earth can that be Jesus we talked

about this at the wedding where Jesus

turned water into wine remember it

wasn't just a little wine he did it with

these enormous containers that come up

to here and there were like how many of

them that were they were like seven or

eight of them six of them there were a

bunch of

Tanner's and the Bible specifically says

they were filled to the brim you see the

wine in heaven is going to be good yes

here let's just this just steer clear

all right as in bad news but the wine in

heaven is going to be a fullness of the

Holy Spirit that leaves us intoxicated

and awake and happy and joyful and that

is our future our cup runneth over the

enemy comes to steal kill and destroy

but Jesus the Good Shepherd comes that

we might have life and he specifies and

we might have it abundantly God doesn't

need us just to want us just to be eking

by he's got abundant life for you that's

not just material provision although I

believe God wants to take care of our

needs but it's emotional abundance its

spiritual abundance it's a joy it's

overflowing with hope that we talked

about last week overflowing with it that

we're that cup and hope is over this

bubbling out because I know that my

shepherd is taking care of me and he

knows where he's going and I have a hope

and a future my cup runneth over praise

the Lord and I surely goodness and

loving kindness will follow me all the

days of my life the word used here is a

beautiful word in Hebrew that I'm going

to teach you for loving kindness it's

the word I said okay I want everyone to

sound like you're coughing up phlegm I

said can you say that with me acid it

means the loving kindness and mercy and

goodness and love and care of God and it

said like that because God wants that

letter to sound like he's bringing his

guts of love out for you his loving

kindness is following you the word in

greek is similar splack ma isn't that

great loving kindness compassion it

seemed to work for guts in love and its

mercy God love from his very innermost

being and his good purpose will follow

you all the days of your life the word

for follow is pursue it is only used in

other cases in the Bible negatively as

an enemy in

are chasing you to capture you and I

never felt pursued by some bad guys

never fell pursued not a pleasant memory

sorry to bring that up again but you

feel pursue sometimes you feel like bad

luck is pursuing you well I've got good

news you've got two other pursuers now

goodness and loving kindness is chasing

you and don't even try to get away

because you can't God's goodness his

good purpose his love will catch up with

you because he's your shepherd and that

mercy will find you all the days of your

life because you have a shepherd who's

taking care of you it's a new mentality

instead of wondering where the next blow

is going to come from in life I'm

wondering where the next blessing is

going to happen because God is following

me and he is with me who can be against

me there's hope there's joy there's

optimism that comes from God but the

beauty of it all is where the story ends

I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever and ever home home home home for

Christians home is not a house home in

the Old Testament was the temple how

lovely is your dwelling place Oh Lord

Almighty my soul yearns and even feigns

for the courts of the Lord my heart and

my flesh cry out for the Living God even

the sparrow has found a home in the

swallow a nest for herself where she may

have her young a place near your altar

Lord Almighty my king and my god blessed

are those who dwell in your house they

are ever praising you for Christians

home is not a place home is a person

it's a person who's there wherever

you're wherever your Shepherd is you can

relax and just rest because you're home

you'll have to worry about anything he's

got everything under control and that's

why I think this is about heaven because

there is a home waiting for us that's so

for Christians winds we go through the

valley of the

shadow of death there is a table and

there is a home and there is a host but

even here you know even as we go on the

journey some of us might feel like

you've been far away from home for a

long time I've got good news for you

wherever you are if your Shepherd is

with you that place that situation is

your home and you can rest and you can

eat as your cup run