What is the “Lord’s table?” This passage in Psalm 23 is rich in meaning and gives the believer encouragement in this life and hope for the future. Jeff Patton examines and expands upon the concept of the “Lord’s table” and how God has provided in the past, continues to provide for us now, and will provide blessings in the future for His people. Even in times of trouble, the Lord prepares a table in the presence of His enemies.
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David, the shepherd king of Israel, understood the many functions of the rod and staff in caring for the sheep. How does the Lord use the rod (shebet) to comfort, discipline, and protect those in his care? How is the staff, the shepherd’s crook, used to guide and lead, so we can say with assurance, “your rod and staff comfort me?”
When we deal with life’s challenges, and we are walking through dark times how is it that we can maintain our courage. David, counsels us to “fear no evil!” So how can we have the same confidence that David had to face our walk through the valley of deep shadows?
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Are we willing to walk a “straight” path following the good shepherd? And if we do, how does that reflect upon the reputation of our shepherd? Are we bringing honour to his name? And what is the benefit to us if we walk the “right” path, paths of righteousness?
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Restoration is a major theme in scripture. One might think that those in the shepherd’s care do not need to be “restored,” but a shepherd knows how easy it is for sheep to become “cast,” lost, or injured, for a variety of reasons. Learn how the Lord, the good shepherd, has provided for people like the Shunamite woman. And he will provide for us, so we can confidently proclaim, “He restores my soul!”
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Lord our Shepherd by still waters:
What is the calm quiet water that the good shepherd provides for his flock? What is the spiritual analogy that David is using to express God’s care for his people? And how does Jesus, the good shepherd, provide living waters for his brethren? Let the scriptures give us a vivid picture of this powerful metaphor to encourage and comfort us.
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The Lord our Shepherd in Green Pastures:
How is it that the Lord, our shepherd, is able to “make us lie down in green pastures?” What does this agricultural analogy mean to so many of us who are so far removed from a pastoral life? What three things keep the sheep from resting and how does the shepherd provide for the needs of his flock? Let the scriptures reveal the full meaning of this text and illuminate how God provides all we need to be at rest “in green pastures.”