“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
– Psalm 23:1–3
Oh, these three verses constitute some of the most I would say like … Beautiful verses in all of the Bible. One of the most beautiful chapters in all of the body, Psalm 23:1–3, describing God as our shepherd, who fulfills all our wants, all the desires that are deepest in our hearts, all the things our souls most need. How he makes us lie down, leads us besides still waters, restores our soul and we know from later in the Psalm, this doesn’t mean life is always easy.
This Verse Thanks God for His Provision
You see walking through the valley of the shadow of death and facing your enemies, but even then, God is faithful to provide. Faithful to restore us and to lead us in paths of righteousness. God is such a good shepherd, but I want you to ask a question based on the end of Psalm 23:3. Why? Why does God lead us in paths of righteousness? The Bible says he does it for his name’s sake. For the sake of his name. See, this picture that we see all throughout the Bible. So God leads us for our good. Obviously, Psalm 23, it’s so much here that is good for us. So God leads us for our good ultimately for his glory.
Why does God lead us in paths of righteousness? For His name’s sake. He leads us for our good and ultimately for His glory.
Oh, see this. Above all, God glorifies himself by being a good shepherd to us. God glorifies his name by guiding our lives. We see from cover to cover in scripture, that God desires the good of his people for the glory of his name, that God desires the good of all peoples for the glory of his name. Think about where the Bible ends, where all of history is headed, toward all peoples gathering around the throne of God. You look at Revelation 7 talking about how the lamb is our shepherd and we are satisfied in him and who is the we, it’s every nation, tribe, tongue and people. All peoples will one day be represented around the throne of God, praising him as the good shepherd. Because God leads and guides us as his people, ultimately for the glory of his name among all peoples.
Psalm 23:1–3 Calls for a God Focused Life
This changes everything about the way you understand the purpose of your life, I understand the purpose of my life. In other words, God has created us for our good. He wants to save us from our sins, he wants to shepherd us, lead us, guide us for our good. Oh, receive that. Receive that good news in your life but then realize it doesn’t stop with you. He does this ultimately for his name’s sake, for the spread of his glory. Not just for the spread of his glory generally, but for his name’s sake among all the nations, among all the peoples. That changes the way you live today.
So how do you live today? You live trusting in the goodness of God as shepherd and you live longing for the spread of his glory, for his name to be known through your life. Right where you live and longing for his name to be known among the nations as the great shepherd that he is.
So we pray. God, we are so thankful that you are our shepherd. We praise you. The lord is our shepherd. We shall not want, you lead us beside still waters. Make us lie down in green pastures. You restore our soul. You lead us in paths of righteousness. We praise you oh God, and we pray today, lead us in all these ways, guide us in all these ways, shepherd us in all these ways we pray. So God, I pray that you would help us all to look to you as our good shepherd today.
Psalm 23:1–3 Prays for God to Guide Us
So God, lead us and guide us in all these ways we pray, and we pray that you would do it for your name’s sake. Above all, we pray that you would do it for the glory of your name, that the goodness and the grace that you have shown us might be known and experienced by others. God, we pray that today, you would use us, our lives, our lips to point other people to you as the good shepherd, as the one who saves us from our sins. Jesus, we know, when you came in John:10, you said, “I am the good shepherd.” You are the great shepherd and we praise you for the salvation you have made possible.
So God, we pray that you would help us to point others to you, your salvation, to you as the shepherd for their souls, and God, we pray that you would use us not just to do that right around us, God, we pray for the good news of your shepherding grace, your shepherding love, your shepherding glory among all the peoples of the world. We pray for the Kahar people, Hindu people in India. Eight million of them, hardly no known followers of Jesus among them. Nobody among those eight million of people God right now knows you as shepherd.
This Verse Pleads for All People Groups to Know the Gospel
So God, please change that. Above all, please cause the gospel to be made known there. Please cause Psalm 23 to be made known among them. There is only one God. That you are the shepherd. That you can save us from our sins, satisfy all of our deepest desires. God, we pray for the Kahar. They need to know you as shepherd. We believe. We know, one day. Revelations 7 they’re going to be represented around the throne. They will be singing your praises as shepherd. So God, bring it about. Please bring it about. Send laborers from the church in India. Send laborers from our churches to take the gospel to the Kahar. Raise up people, even who are praying right now.
Psalms 23:1–3 Prays for God to Shepherd His People
So God, I pray that you would raise up somebody who would go to the Kahar, and make the gospel known to them. So please oh God, for the spread of your shepherding grace among all the peoples of the world. Cause it to be so, we pray. We pray you do that there, you do that around us in our lives today, as we enjoy you and follow you and worship you as our shepherd. So we pray that you would lead us in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake that others might know you as the good, the great shepherd who saves us from our sin and satisfies our souls forever. All glory be to your name, and it’s in the name of our good shepherd, Jesus we pray. Amen.