‘The Shepherd God’ is an extended reflection on Psalm 23. The book begins with an introduction relating my own experiences before six main chapters take one part of the Psalm as a starting point. Each chapter is divided into a number of points that help us to better understand the Psalm. Finally, the book concludes with an epilogue which considers how we might find peace, worth and purpose in a busy world.
The main chapters are structured as follows:
Chapter One: The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Three aspects of a shepherd’s role that help us to understand how God is our shepherd:
- Faithful provision of basic needs
- A personal relationship based on trust
- Protection at any cost.
Chapter Two: He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
Three ways in which God brings peace to the lives of his people:
- God makes his people stop and rest
- God takes away the need for fear
- God gives his people genuine refreshment
Chapter Three: He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Five points for following the right path through our lives:
- God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect
- We need to renew our minds
- God’s word illuminates our paths
- We should submit to God
- God wants us to display his character to all those around us
Chapter Four: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Three points for understanding – and coping whilst we are in – the ‘darkest valley’:
- Dark times are inevitable
- We have a future hope
- God is with us in our suffering
Chapter Five: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Three ways in which God demonstrates love for all of his people:
- God desperately wants us to spend time with him
- God withholds nothing from us
- God wants us to make peace with our enemies
Chapter Six: Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Three amazing truths relating to God’s endless love for his people:
- God’s love is unconditional
- God’s love is eternal
- God calls on us to build his house.
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