- The Source
- The Sovereign By Definition
- The Sovereign By Decree
- The Sovereign By Design: Part I
- The Sovereign By Design: Part II
- The Sovereign By Design: Part III
- The Sovereign By Design: Part IV
- The Sovereign By Design: Part V
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VI
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VII
- The Supply: My Giver: Introduction
- The Supply My Giver: Part I
- The Supply My Giver: Part II
- The Supply My Giver: Part III
- The Supply My Giver: Part IV
- The Supply My Giver: Part V
- The Supply My Giver: Part VI
- The Supply My Giver: Part VII
- The Supply My Giver: Part VIII
- The Supply My Giver: Part IX
- The Supply My Giver: Part X
- The Security; My Guard
“…he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness...” (Psalms 23:3b)
Thus far in these devotions of Psalm 23, under the heading of The Sovereign (My God), the general outline is:
- The Sovereign – By Definition
- The Sovereign – By Decree
- The Sovereign – By Design
Under the sub-heading “By Design,” David’s uses seven active verbs to show that “The LORD” (My Shepherd) had complete control over His Creation; over the affairs of David’s life, and his position now and forever in Christ:
a) “He maketh me to lie down…” (Psalms 23:2a)
b) “…he leadeth me beside…” (Psalms 23:2b)
c) “He restoreth my soul…” (Psalms 23:3a)
d) “…he leadeth me in...” (Psalms 23:3b)
e) “…thy rod and thy staff they comfort (He comforteth) me.” (Psalms 23:4c)
f) “Thou preparest a table before me…” (Psalms 23:5a)
g) “…thou anointest my head with oil...” (Psalms 23:5b)
All these verbs are active, by the Power of God, upon His sheep. Each sheep is passive in receiving the action. Jehovah (the LORD; the Shepherd) is the Power of these actions upon the sheep.
Thus far, we have covered the first three verbs, “He maketh… He leadeth… He restoreth.” In this devotion, the focus is on “he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness” (Psalms 23:3b).
The outline is:
1) The Who: “He…”
“He” is the same as before. David is speaking of My Source (My Guide); My Sovereign (My God); who is the LORD, or Jehovah. “I AM THAT I AM”; the Self-Existing One. “In the beginning God”; the only God; the One True and Living God; the Creator, the Controller, and the Consummator; my Shepherd (Guide, Provider, and Protector), the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd; the Omnipresent (He is everywhere), the Omnipotent (He is all-powerful), the Omniscient (He is all-knowing). He is the Alpha and the Omega. He has the keys to life and death. And on and on this list could go, describing who “He” is in the Bible.
But David’s central thought in Psalm 23 is that “He” the LORD (Jehovah) is My (showing possession) Shepherd; the Leader; the Head; the Captain; the Guide; the Protector and Provider of the Sheep.
Here in our text verse, Psalm 23:3b, “he (Jehovah) leadeth me…”
2) The How: “He leadeth me in the paths…”
“Leadeth”; as a noun, the root word “lead” means 1) “a position at the front”; 2) “example”; 3) “one who leads.” As a verb (“led,” “leading”); it means 1) “to guide on a way”; 2) “to direct the operations, activity, or performance of”; 3) “to tend toward a definite result.”
Christ leads by Example and by Exhortation and by His Power:
1) By Example:
Christ led us by His Example of His Walk and His Work on this earth as the Son of Man, even the Son of God. We ought to walk “as he walked” (1 John 2:6).
How did Christ walk here on earth?
He walked in Perfect Submission to the Father: “…not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39); “…thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42): “…not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Christ did the Father’s Will; He did not turn from the Father’s Will, not to the left or to the right; for this is why He came (John 12:27).
Therefore, God’s Children must be of the same mindset, “not my will, but thine, be done.”
2) By Exhortation:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
But to know His Commandments, you must be taught His Commandments:
i. Love God:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
ii. Love thy neighbor:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)
iii. Walk in holiness and peace:
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)
Christ was not part of this world as to sin (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; 1 John 2:15-17).
Therefore, we must be set apart from this world, and “be ye holy” saith the Lord (1 Peter 1:14-15). (Read Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 10:3-5; etc.)
God exhorts us through His Written Word and His pastors/teachers; by the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27); by the proclaiming of the Gospel by His Servants (Romans 1:17; Ephesians 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 4:2); and by this Gospel being applied by the Holy Spirit.
3) By His Power:
Christ indwells the Regenerated Believer. Therefore, He being in Himself all Power in heaven and in earth – the saved man has within him the Power of Christ; for the saved man is the Temple of Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:9-20; etc.)
Paul said in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” That is, Christ (the Power of God; 1 Corinthians 1:24) is working in you to do His Will and His Good Pleasure.
Paul said again:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, (20) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:19-20)
Christ leads us (His Sheep) by:
- His Power.
However, Christ leads His Sheep not as a slave master of His slaves, in fear of punishment – but Christ leads His Servants (Slaves) as servants of God; as servants of righteousness (not slaves of unrighteousness); as Sheep that have been Regenerated, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. They are fitted with the Love of God in their spirit; and are given a new nature, whereby they no longer desire (or will) to please their own flesh, but have renounced the old man and his corruption. They have turned 180 degrees from the dominion of sin, and have turned to the dominion of the Love of God. And they now bear the fruits, not of unrighteousness, but of righteousness, holiness, and peace (Romans 6:1-23).
That is, they have been made new creatures in Christ:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Now, their will is to please Christ. And they do this by surrendering to God as Sovereign (Lord and Master); by submitting to His Will; by obeying His Word of Command; and by enduring in the same. (In short, they hear His voice; and they follow Him; and a stranger they will not follow; John 10:5, 27).
Therefore, Christ (my Shepherd, my Sovereign) does not lead in fear, but in Love and in His Power to walk in His Love:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:18)
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
God’s Children are not robots. But they are in love with their Savior; and His Commands are the Sheep’s will, for they know He loves them and has only good for them.