Psalm 23:1 – Jehovah Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23:1 - Jehovah is my shepherd(1) It is safe to say that no other collection of poems has accomplished as much good as the Book of Psalms. Its sentiments seem to touch the soul at every turn — in joy, in sorrow. Referring to the Twenty-third Psalm, Beecher wrote, “It is the nightingale among the Psalms. It is small, of a homely feather, singing shyly out of obscurity; but it has filled the air of the whole world with melodious joy”; and Spurgeon said, “This is the Pearl of Psalms, whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye.”

(2) “Jehovah is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1) Only the people of God, in covenant relationship with Him, can properly appreciate this Psalm and apply its gracious sentiments to themselves. The Psalmist David could do this, because he belonged to the favored nation which God had taken into covenant relationship with Himself at Mount Sinai; additionally he had shown in faith in the promises of the coming Messiah. The Israelites had covenanted to walk in Jehovah’s way and to obey His statutes; and God in turn had covenanted with them that He would, in proportion as they would do this, bestow His blessing upon their every interest. (Exodus 19:5) And perfect obedience to that Covenant and its Law would have been rewarded with everlasting life. (Leviticus 18:5; Romans 10:5) We see, as the Apostle explains, that such a complete obedience was impossible. “By the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” — Romans 3:20.

(3) Comparatively few of the Jews even did their best to live up to the requirements of the Law; but the Prophet David evidently was one of these, however far short he came of perfection; for Jehovah declared him “a man after His own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Kings 15:3,5; Acts 13:22) If he made failures, he confessed them, repented, received his punishment, and rejoiced in restoration to Jehovah’s favor, striving the more in the future to maintain his fellowship with God. It is interesting for us to note the kind of man with whom Jehovah is well pleased — the kind of sheep in which the Great Shepherd is interested. And of this same class, of course, were others — the Prophets and lesser personages — all who endeavored to live godly.

THE GREAT SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

(4) In an important sense this Psalm is applicable to our Lord Jesus and His Church. All the features of the Psalm are applicable to our Redeemer Himself as well as to His followers, whom He styles the sheep of His flock. To His Church He is the Representative of the Father, so fully, so completely, that He could say truthfully, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) No human being could, with their physical eyes, see the Heavenly Father and live, as the Scriptures declare (Exodus 33:20); and those who saw and understood Jesus to be the Son of God, could “see” the God and Father of Jesus in Jesus (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3), because Jesus spoke the words of, and did the works of, his God and Father. (John 1:18; 6:46; 8:38; 14:6-11) And so we all see Jesus as the Representative of and mediator with the Father (Malachi 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6), the Son of the great King, the Son of the great Shepherd, Yahweh.

(5) Jesus and His Church are more particularly the sheep of Yahweh’s flock than were the Israelites of the Jewish Age (1 Peter 5:2); for the relationship of the Jews was through Moses, while the relationship of the Church is through Christ and the superior Covenant which centers in Him. (Hebrews 3:2-6) It is well that we see this clearly; else how could we know whether or not we might apply the gracious sentiments of this Psalm to ourselves? It would not be right for a worldly, unjustified person to apply this Psalm to himself. (John 9:31) He would be deceiving himself; for he is not one of Jehovah’s sheep through Jesus Christ. (John 10:26,27) Nothing is more clear than this. Jesus declared that there is only one way of entering the sheepfold; namely, through the door — and He declared Himself to be the Door. — John 10:1-14

HOW TO BECOME A TRUE SHEEP

(6) By nature we are sinners under Jehovah’s sentence of death, and not His sheep, having been made so through the disobedience of Adam. (Romans 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:3) Our Heavenly Father has purposed a great Plan for the world in general, which will begin to operate as soon as Messiah’s Kingdom is fully established. However, in the interim He is receiving special sheep — during this Gospel Age; and Jesus tells how, saying, “If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [Greek stauros, stake], and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Self-denial is the first step — self-renunciation, the submitting of our own will to the will to God. All who would be Jehovah’s sheep must take this step of self-denial; it is the condition under which they may be accepted. This is the only proper course for God’s creatures (Matthew 22:37); these are those who count the knowledge and blessings of a kingdom inheritance as a treasure greater than all joys and riches of this world. (Matthew 13:44-46; Proverbs 2:2-9) However, for those who do take this step now means to love God more than own families and friends in this world, and their own self, thus they are told to count the cost. — Luke 14:25-33.

(7) Moreover, as the Jews could come only through their appointed mediator, Moses, so we can come into this higher sheepfold only under the antitypical, greater Moses, Christ. (Galatians 3:19; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 3:3) There is none other name given. (Acts 4:12) Once having taken this step, once having come into the sheepfold by the Door — in the approved manner — we have the Message of God, saying, “For all things are yours. . . . All are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” What this means is described in this Psalm. — 1 Corinthians 3:22,23.

ALL NEEDS ABUNDANTLY SUPPLIED

(8) “I shall lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1b) Jehovah’s sheep, abiding in perfection of relationship with Him, will lack nothing. Their every need will be supplied. This may not mean greater earthly wealth or name or fame or luxury. Jehovah’s sheep are new creatures, having received the spirit of the next age, who are temporarily dwelling in the flesh like other people, but who really are waiting for their change, to be completed by a share in the First Resurrection. Jehovah’s blessings to Natural Israel were earthly blessings, supplying their every earthly need; but His blessings to Spiritual Israel are spiritual favors. “No good thing will He withhold” from these — yes, even chastisements and sorrowful experiences that may be necessary for their spiritual development.

(9) “He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:2) The Psalm assures us that, as Jehovah’s sheep, we shall be provided with green pastures and the cool, refreshing waters of Truth. Moreover, while thus being spiritually fed and refreshed, we shall have the peace of God, as is implied in the suggestion that the sheep will lie down in the green pastures. But alas! Not all of the sheep have full confidence in the Shepherd and are fully resigned to fully have their will in submission to him. Some are continually getting into difficulty, because they neglect the green pastures and cool, refreshing waters of Truth found in the Word of God — because, goat-like, they sometimes wander off into the desert, straying far from the Shepherd and attempting to feed themselves on the indigestible things of the present life, on which no spiritual nature can thrive.

(10) “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3a) Yet even such straying sheep the Shepherd will not leave, if they have become truly His. He goes after them, as the Psalm represents. His rod and His staff are their comfort. With the rod he beats off their enemies, the wolves that would injure; and with the crook of His staff He wisely and carefully assists the entangled sheep out of its difficulties — out from amongst the cares of this life, the entanglements and deceitfulness of riches, and the besetments of sin and of Satan. Many of the sheep of Yahweh’s flock thus can sing, “He restores my soul” — He brings me back to Himself; He makes me again to know, to appreciate, to enjoy His provision for me and to see how much better it is than anything I could have provided for myself.

(11) “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3) A further experience is next brought to our view — the Shepherd’s leading. “He guides me in the paths of righteousness.” He causes me, even by my own stumblings and difficulties, to learn to appreciate the desirableness of His ways and the undesirableness of every other way. All His ways are perfect, are righteous. He leads us not contrary to our wills, but in harmony therewith, to prove what is the good, next the acceptable, and finally the perfect will of God. — Romans 12:2.

THE VALLEY OF DEATH’S SHADOW

(12) “Even 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.” (Psalm 23:4) All of our lives we have been in the shadow of this great Valley of Death. Only father Adam was ever on the mountain-tops of life. He lost his footing there, and descended gradually down the slopes into this Valley of the Shadow of Death. We, his children, were all born here. We are dying daily; we are surrounded by dying conditions. We have merely the hope that Jehovah will lead His sheep back to the heights of life. Jehovah, through Jesus, is now leading His sheep of this Gospel Age — the Church, the Body of Christ. By and by He will lead the world, during our Lord’s Millennial Kingdom; as He declared, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.” — John 10:16.

“Oh, sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal!”

(13) The end of this Valley of Shadow is near, not merely in the sense that we shall soon reach the end of life’s journey, but especially in the sense that the New Day is about to dawn, of which Jehovah, our Supreme Shepherd, declared the result: “He will destroy in this mountain the surface of the covering that covers all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isaiah 25:7) The final result will be that there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying (Isaiah 25:8: Revelation 21:1-5); but the whole world will begin to emerge from the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For a thousand years, while the deceiver of this world is bound, they will be rising again to the glorious heights of human perfection from which Adam fell, and the right to return to which is secured for all by the death of Jesus, “the just for the unjust.” — Revelation 12:9; 20:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 3:18

THE CHURCH’S BETTER TABLE

(14) “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5a) But this precious Psalm seems especially to apply to the Church, as we have said. Thus we appropriately read that Jehovah’s people of the present time have an especially prepared table, where they may partake even in the presence of their enemies. That will not be true in the future; for no enemies nor anything to hurt or injure shall then be permitted. (Isaiah 11:9) But how true it is that Jehovah’s consecrated people, even when misunderstood, misrepresented, defamed and opposed, are still privileged to feast at Jehovah’s Table! The table represents God’s provision for their needs — the promises of God, the assurances of His favor, etc.

(15) “You have anointed my head with oil.” (Psalm 23:5b) Another evidence that the Psalm belongs especially to the Church of this Age is the statement. Jehovah, our Supreme Shepherd, has given the sheep to His Son, Jesus, setting Jesus as the “one shepherd” of Jehovah’s sheep, both the sheep of this age, and the sheep of the age to come. (Exodus 34:23,24; John 10:11-16,29; 17:2,6,9) Jesus, the Head of the Church, was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. (Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9) That holy anointing oil used on the priests and kings of Israel typified the Holy Spirit, which came upon the Church representatively in Jesus. (Matthew 3:16) And this same anointing oil has come down over all the members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, as we read in Psalm 133:2.

THE CUP BOTH SWEET AND BITTER

(16) “My cup runs over.” (Psalm 23:5c) The word cup is used in the Scriptures to represent a draft, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, sometimes both. The intimation is that the Master’s cup signifies bitter experiences and trials in the present time; as Jesus said, “The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) And this was the cup — His cup — which He offered to His disciples and which we, in becoming His disciples, propose to share with Him, and which is symbolically represented in the Communion Cup. — 1 Corinthians 10:15-17.

(17) It is sweet and precious, in many senses of the word to be privileged to participate in the sufferings of Christ, in any sacrifices or services for Jehovah and His Cause through His Son Jesus. The sweet mingles freely with the bitter. But our Lord promises that in the future the Cup of new wine in the Kingdom shall more than compensate for any bitterness of the present time. (Matthew 26:29; Romans 8:18) Our Cup is full, but we would not wish it one drop less.

(18) “Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6a) How precious the thought — God’s goodness, God’s mercy, with all those who are truly His in Christ — following us day by day, moment by moment, and according to the Scriptures making all things work together for our good! (Romans 8:28)

(19) “I shall dwell in Jehovah’s house forever” (Psalm 23:6b) — in the Royal Home, of which the Redeemer said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions [residences]; . . . I am going to prepare a place for you.;” and “I will come again and receive you to myself.” (John 14:2,3) There are many positions of service in this Royal House. (Psalm 45) Out of this house all people of the earth will learn of the ways of Jehovah. (Isaiah 2:2-4) All in this House of Glory will praise Jehovah forever. — Psalm 135:1-3; Ezekiel 43:5; Haggai 2:9

(19) This shall be the everlasting portion of God’s elect — the Church. The great blessings subsequently to come to the world will in no sense interfere with, but enhance, the glory of the Church; for she will be engaged with her Lord in dispensing blessings to the other sheep. — Galatians 3:29.
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Paragraphs are numbered for reference and use in group and individual study.

Earlier publication August, 2012; Updated and republished November 2014.

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Will God Save the Earth (Christians Questions Radio)

Part One

Part Two

Answers questions: Is the earth doomed to destruction, by man’s own doing or by God’s will, or does God have other plans for it? Does God tell us what will happen to the Earth? What does God have in store for humanity?

We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given in the radio show, but believe the information provided to be beneficial.

(We are presenting the scriptures from the World English, unless otherwise stated, that the Holy Name may be glorified. In the NT, we are restoring the Holy Name at appropriate places that, as best as we can determine, we should expect to find the Holy Name.)

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of [Yahweh] will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Genesis 6:1 It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,
Genesis 6:2 that God’s sons saw that men’s daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose.
Genesis 6:3 Yahweh said, “My spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years.”
Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God’s sons came to men’s daughters. They bore children to them: the same were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Genesis 6:5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
Genesis 6:7 Yahweh said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh’s eyes. 9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6:10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Genesis 6:11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Genesis 6:12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Genesis 6:13 God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 8:20 Noah built an altar to Yahweh, and took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Genesis 8:21 Yahweh smelled the sweet savor. Yahweh said in his heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake, because the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike everything living, as I have done.
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Genesis 9:8 God spoke to Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Genesis 9:9 “As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you,
Genesis 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every animal of the earth with you. Of all that go out of the ark, even every animal of the earth.
Genesis 9:11 I will establish my covenant with you; neither will all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither will there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Genesis 9:12 God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
Genesis 9:13 I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:14 It will happen, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud,
Genesis 9:15 and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:16 The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:17 God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Psalm 102:24 I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the midst of my days.” “Your years are throughout all generations.
Psalm 102:25 Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands.
Psalm 103:26 They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed. 27 But you are the same. Your years will have no end. 28 The children of your servants will continue. Their seed will be established before you.” — Quotes changed as they appear in the WEB to harmonize with Hebrews 1:10-12; see the following:
Does Yahweh Speak to Yahweh?
Did Paul Misquote?

Psalm 104:5 5 He laid the foundations of the earth, That it should not be moved forever.

Isaiah 24:1 Behold, Yahweh makes the earth empty, and makes it waste, and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitants of it.
Isaiah 24:2 It shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest to him.
Isaiah 24:21 It shall happen in that day, that Yahweh will punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth.

Zephaniah 3:8 “Therefore wait for me,” says Yahweh, “until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
Zephaniah 3:20 At that time will I bring you in, and at that time will I gather you; for I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes, says Yahweh.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says Yahweh who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn’t create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: I am Yahweh; and there is no one else.
Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness; I didn’t say to the seed of Jacob, Seek you me in vain: I, Yahweh, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

Matthew 5:18 For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
See the study:
The Fulfilling of the Law

Other scriptures (full quotes may be provided later, Yahweh willing. Placing your cursor on the verses given however should display the verse from the American Standard Version, which presents the Holy Name in the OT as “Jehovah”.)

Isaiah 13:11
Isaiah 13:13
Haggai 2:6
Haggai 2:7
Ephesians 2:2
Revelation 21:1
Revelation 21:2
Revelation 21:3
Isaiah 51:4
Isaiah 51:5
Isaiah 51:6
1 Thessalonians 5:1
1 Thessalonians 5:2
1 Thessalonians 5:3
1 Thessalonians 5:4
1 Thessalonians 5:5
Matthew 24:32
Matthew 24:33
Matthew 24:34
Matthew 24:35
Matthew 24:36
Matthew 24:37
Matthew 24:38
Matthew 24:39
Luke 21:29
Luke 21:30
Luke 21:31
Luke 21:32
Hosea 9:10
Luke 13:6
Luke 13:7
Luke 13:8
Luke 13:9
Matthew 23:37
Matthew 23:38
Genesis 3:17
Revelation 22:3
Psalm 46:1
Psalm 46:2
Psalm 45:3
Isaiah 57:20
Micah 4:1
Micah 4:2
Psalm 46:4
Psalm 46:5
Psalm 46:6
Psalm 46:7
Matthew 24:21
Matthew 24:22
2 Peter 3:6
2 Peter 3:7
2 Peter 3:8
2 Peter 3:9
2 Peter 3:10
2 Peter 3:11
2 Peter 3:12
2 Peter 3:13
2 Peter 3:14
Psalm 46:8
Psalm 46:9
Psalm 46:10
Psalm 46:11

Works of the Second Advent (Links)

This page has links to articles that appeared in “The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom,” May/June 2009 issue; we do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by the authors:

Theme: Works of the Second Advent


In the Beginning (Works of the Second Advent-Introduction)

Audio MP3

Completing the Church
Audio MP3

Jesus is like a bridegroom who comes to take his bride to her new home. Titus 2:13; Psalm 46; Matthew 25:1-13;  Luke 12:35-53;  Daniel 12:12; Revelation 3:20;

The Restoration of Israel
Audio MP3

Israel’s 1,845 years of disfavor ended in A.D. 1878.

Smiting the Nations
Audio MP3
It is not just the nations; the Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet are destroyed as well.

Three Angels
Audio MP3
Christendom is judged—the faithful leave her.

Alive and Remain
Audio MP3
Resurrecting the saints: a verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians 4, verses 13 to 18.

The General Resurrection
Audio MP3
Everyone, both good and bad, will be resurrected.

The Ancient Worthies in the
Millennial Kingdom

Audio MP3
The faithful ones of old will become the kingdom’s visible representatives.

Highway of Holiness
Audio MP3
Isaiah chapter 35 describes a way by which all mankind will be able to reach perfection.

Poems and Short Features

A Canaan on Earth
Audio MP3

The Beginning
Audio MP3

Divine Revelation
Audio MP3

Forgiveness of Sins
Audio MP3

Spring—Life Anew
Audio MP3


Some Helpful Books:

The keys of Revelation: Jesus testimony — (By Frank Shallieu) We do not necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but we have found this work to be helpful in our studies of the book of Revelation.

The Emphasized Bible * Canada * United Kingdom – (by Joseph Bryant Rotherham) This Bible translation is acclaimed by many to be the best English translation available.