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Safe and Sound - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2020 2:00 am

Safe and Sound - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 6, 2020 2:00 am

Life is full of peaks and valleys, calm streams and roaring rapids. At times, it feels like you don't know where to go. In the message "Safe and Sound," Skip shares how God guides, protects, and provides for you and how you can find security in Him.

This teaching is from the series Playlist.




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We have a shepherd who takes care of us to shape you know this or not, you probably do but sheep do not take care of themselves very well. She pulled die unless they have a shepherd who will take care of. They require more meticulous care and attention than any other form of livestock and so it's no surprise that the Bible over 200 times refers to us as sheep. Psalm 23 has been quoted in countless movies and TV shows, songs and speeches to offer comfort and solace today on connect with skip-scriptures. What is sold speaks so powerfully to her hurting so what it says to you today want to let you know about a resource that will empower your life as you immerse yourself in God's truth. A recent study by the cultural research center, Christians are almost just as likely to reject the idea of absolute moral truth. The art of accepted American adults believe in absolute moral truth is eroding across all age groups and political ideologies with other church or unchurched. What that means is that over 75% of Christ followers are those who purport to be Christ followers are saying that nothing can be known for certain. There is no absolute truth about you. We want to help you understand the nature truth to you to pursue God through and apply your life to brand-new booklets, but why truth matters in God and suicide if you fall under that category. What you do with the claims of Christ Jesus, that I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father except through me. These booklets are our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today. They'll keep this ministry on the air, connecting more people to God's word to give. Call 800-922-1888, and securely okay. Psalm 23 as we get into her study with skip-the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake yay 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup runs 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. All of the 150 expressions we call the Psalms.

There is no Psalm that is more quoted, recited, memorized, inscribed on cards than the 23rd Psalm is without question. Of all of the Old Testament passages of Scripture the most famous Old Testament passage, everybody knows even unbelievers know this passage, Augustine called it the martyrs him because so many Christian martyrs recited Psalm 23 when they went to their deaths as they were tortured for Christ.

Abraham Lincoln often referred to this song during his deep days of depression during the Civil War.

George W. Bush recited it to a nation that was weary and wondering after September 11, 2001 43 at this 3000 years that's how long ago it was written, the Psalm is not comfort to millions of God's people. It is us that a child can grasp. It's that simple. But it's the kind of a Psalm that a theologian could drown and it's that deep was Alexander McLaren, the great Scottish expositor who said the world would spare many a book better than this sunny little song. It is dried many tears and supplied the mold into which many hearts have poured their peaceful faith, but it is my belief that Psalm 23 is misunderstood at least misapplied because when do you typically hear Psalm 23 and what funerals and it's it's inscribed in crematorium's and cemeteries and funeral homes Lord is my shepherd sits on sympathy cards and that that is because there's a little phrase in verse four that says, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

So it is included at times of physical death, but this is a Psalm that has a way more to do with the life than it does with dad fits the psalmist relationship to the living God in his own life.

That's why he says, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life Miami doctor said and I agree with him. The 23rd Psalm has been enshrined on a marble pedestal for far too long we need to take it down and break it up and use it naturally want to do today as we have this little devotional. This meditation on Psalm 23. It's time for us to take these truths off of sympathy cards and inscribed them in our own hearts out. Psalm 23 has been called the shepherds the Psalm for obvious reasons.

But if you look a little more closely at the Psalm you will discover that it's not just about sheep and a shepherd. It covers much more.

Allow me to explain.

When you open up in verse one it speaks about the Lord in the third person he is.

This and he is that when you come to verse four there's a change to the first person. David now speaks directly to God. Not as much as a shepherd as to a friend. It's personal. Then in verse five. There's another change we go from outside outdoors the Valley. The field to inside the tent or if you will the home so the first part of the Psalm is in the field. The second part of the Psalm is in the valley in the third part is in the tent so I want to look at this Psalm in three parts, as a shepherd. God gives us direction as a friend. God gives us protection and as a host. God gives this provision must begin with the first shepherd the Lord is my shepherd, writes David, I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake as a shepherd. God gives us direction, not an amateur high school was like, but you guys remember FFA FFA Future farmers of America was anybody in FFA. If you of you unless you are in FFA Psalm 23.

Makes no sense to us. In fact, most of us don't even know shepherd, and it's not like one of the normal occupations that we have in our society is not your ordinary occupation but David himself was a shepherd in Bethlehem. He came from a family of shepherds and we know that David was out keeping his sheep as he was selected to be the next king of Israel. The idea of God being our shepherd is one of the most without a doubt beautiful and comforting metaphors in all of the Bible. One of my favorite verses of Scripture that speaks to this is Isaiah chapter 40 but declares he shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bosom and gently lead those who are with the young, so the picture is that the care that a shepherd gives to his sheep, and certainly Psalm 23 implies care. We have a shepherd who takes care of us is she.

And if you know this or not, you probably do but sheep do not take care of themselves very well. Sheep will die unless they have a shepherd who will take care of them. They require more meticulous care and attention than any other form of livestock and so it's no surprise that the Bible over 200 times refers to us as she because of the tendency that she passed. For example, Isaiah 53 all we like sheep of what we've gone astray.

We have all gone our own way.

That's what sheep do back in 2005 in eastern Turkey. There were 1500 sheep gathered together in one spot. There were several stocks with several shepherds who all got together put their flocks in one place while the shepherds went off any breakfast together. Apparently nobody was watching the sheep.

Suddenly one little she had an idea and that is unmanageable over the cliff and he did, and apparently all the other sheep thought that she knew where he was going so 400 of them followed him before they finally found out that 400 sheep had died, going over a cliff.

The estimated loss was $74,000 really. I mean I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes at they lost that much money.

In fact, get this, the only time in the Bible that sheep are ever seen in a favorable light is when they are under the care of a good shepherd and David was a shepherd and so he writes this. He's not doing this as an insult to himself or to those of us who are his readers, but in elation that God is a shepherd.

It's like a kid bragging about his father, look at who my dad is is David Zink look at who my shepherd is look at who my owner, my manager is the Lord is my shepherd how many of you own pets may see a show of hands.

Own pets. Some of you need to own pets if that's all. So have you ever known a dog owner that you may not say it to them, but you think these thoughts, they should not own that dog that poor little dog never gets out never gets taken for a walk never gets groomed disorder runs around the backyard bar charts barks all day long think they should not own that dog. But then there's the other end of the spectrum where you have the obsessive dog owner they get little sweaters for their dogs and little shoes for their dogs and their prim and proper, and they like Paris Hilton carries her dog everywhere she goes, and you got all that is like so crazy that is so overboard right. However, if you were a dog and you could choose which owner to have the first one of the second one you know you would take number two will take Paris Hilton in the day over the dog would never gets out and here is David say hey my manager my owner is the Lord himself. These are bragging rights for David the other day I read an article the National Science Foundation has committed to spending $10 million to build robots for children. They call them personal trainers for children and their words to influence their behavior and their eating habits. These are technological shepherds there invented they plan to introduce them into homes deploy them in the schools to teach children English and to encourage kids to exercise last time I checked, those were called parents and those recalled teachers and I want a robot as a shepherd for my children or for me or for my grandchildren. I want parents and teachers who are pointing their way to the Lord like David did sing the Lord is my shepherd it implies care. God will care for you. It also implies guidance, you know, sheep. They do not navigate very well. All of us like sheep have gone astray. They do that very easily finding their way back home.

Not a chance.

I have a pretty smart little dog approach about a brag about my little dog and we took our dog out, not even at her house with put the dog in the car, drove her to a different neighborhood got out, walked around by the river and the dog ran away and got lost. An hour later our dog was waiting back in our car in a foreign neighborhood but had enough sense to navigate all the way back to where he got out of the car once more dog a sheep will never do that. There are birds that can make navigate around the world.

A sheep will never do that salmon know how to go upstream to spawn a sheep will never do that I saw in Israel one time a flock of sheep, gathered by a well I thought they were just drinking out of the well and I got closer to photograph it and I noticed that all the sheep had their little heads smashed into the third of the bodies of other sheep, sort of like hiding their little tails were sticking out in a circle and the poor shepherd had to break them up with his staff just to be able to lead them.

That's the nature sheep at the nature of shepherd is to guide so you'll notice twice in our Psalm once in verse two and the other in verse three it says he leads me beside the still waters. He leads me in paths of righteousness. If there's one thing in this Psalm that to set your mind at ease.

It's this you have a personal guide.

No, I speak to a lot of Christians and have for a lot of years and one of the common questions that we have is how do I find the Lord's will for my life.

How do I get direction for my life. I want guidance for my life and what they expect.

I think to hear from me is sort of a 123 ABC formula for how to determine God's will. If you memorize this scripture and take this step and counselors person bingo you'll find God's will. Every time I think were so hung up with guidance that we forget we have the guide living in us. We live direction when God is saying, hey I the direct door will live inside of you. Now if you were traveling to a foreign city like New York City would you rather have a complicated set of instructions to get you around town or how about this one of the local resident said no, let me get in the car which you also him I found you go yeah I want that guy you've got that guy you have the Holy Spirit. Jesus said when the spirit of truth is, he will guide you into all truth. I know sometimes we wonder wall house. I can work as he can give me depression my heart I might have to memorize Scripture is to be to the Council of others. Answer yes all of the above. Relax a little bit here. Just as she leave that to the guy. The director he leads. He guidance his second phrase, I shall not want. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. But I discovered that not everyone who says the first part can actually say with honesty. The second part, the Lord is my shepherd and not everybody can say I shall not want. We live in a society filled with discontentment were always looking at what other sheep or Eden guy has greener pastures and I have Lord, I trust you like they do, I serve you, like they do in their pastor looks so much better than my pastor.

It's greener over there. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want is a great little book called a shepherd looks at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller. Some of you seen it's an old book. It's the musings of an actual shepherd who was raised in East Africa later on became a shepherd by occupation in Canada who raise sheep for a living.

Before he became a lay pastor and heat, he said.

I remember in my flock there was one particular little you lamb a female sheep who was beautiful, beautiful Constitution, beautifully formed body, but always discontented. He called the sheep offense crawler because no matter what pastor he led his sheep into and he said my pastures were the greenest pastors in the area. I had this one little sheep who would always move to the edge and sort of look out to see what's over there. He eventually called her Miss gadabout. She was always gabbing about looking for other pastors. I wonder if God doesn't have some sheep like that for disgruntled who are always complaining, and it may be quick to add that the complaining sheep is a disgrace to the shepherd because a complaining sheep reflects the kind of care that that sheep thinks the shepherd is giving him or her for not giving him or her and imagine how unbelievers feel when they look at complaining sheep's lives try to win people to Christ and are always complaining and moaning and other think I want to follow your shepherd didn't take very good care of you.

Or so it seems you don't ever seem happy with him. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Contentment does not come from what we have. Contentment comes from whom we have and if the Lord is your shepherd you want to be able to declare firmly and confidently. I shall not want.

As a shepherd. He gives us direction as the second principle I want to discuss with you and that is as a friend. He gives us protection.

Now you'll notice the pronoun change in verse four from speaking about he and his in the third person he speaks not directly to the Lord. Yay 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 immediately. This tells me that life is not always going to be about green pastures and still waters. There's good to be some valleys that I walk through and I know we don't like that we hate valleys. I don't meet many people all good.

I'm in the valley right now. It's dark down here, praise the Lord. I think knowing the shepherd we should be able to say that, but typically we go. Lord, please get me out of this valley just get me out of this valley just deliver me from this valleys just carry me from mountain peak to mountain peak to mountain in Jesus name hallelujah but there are going to be some valleys. Shepherds will lead sheep down into the valleys over in the Middle East where this scene takes place when it gets really really hot outside like it is these days shepherds will move their sheep down into the ravines. They call them the why these and she paid it sheep don't have great eyesight and they hate walking downwards into a shadow dark ravine.

But the reason that the shepherd brings his sheep down there is because it's cooler down there and that's where the streams of water are running at the bottom of the ravine. In other words, sometimes the darkest valleys are pathways to the greenest pastors she don't know that all this is Garrett is always just wait and be cool down there and it's going to be beautiful and refreshing. I met many a believer who is testified to the fact that though there going to difficult time in their life and it's that the trial of a lifetime, so to speak. That's where they meet the Lord. They have direct contact with God's comfort in a way they've never experienced so you will have some valleys.

Verse four also tells me that you have some dark valleys where David calls the valley of the shadow of death. Now this is why it's recited in funerals because of that phrase, but it doesn't necessarily refer to physical dying. The Hebrew word is figurative of gloom or calamity is a guy who isn't dying. Here's a guy who's living but experiencing it dark valley the valley what he calls the shadow of death, let me say this, even when you do come to an end of your life and you do die, it's going to be okay.

Death is sort of like going into a valley when you approach that time to die. Feels dark, feels like you're going down your movement is limited. Your your breathing is course.

It seems so dark but you're not gonna stay there. You're going to come out of the valley below. Go through the valley of the shadow of death, not live forever in the valley and then he will wake you have arisen. On the other side of your life that message from a series please. Now here's to tell you, you can help keep these teachings coming your way to help connect others to God.

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