SHEEP and the SHEPHERD
SHEEP and the SHEPHERD
1. Read and memorize Psalm 23 as we prepare to study this passage over the next 12 weeks.
2. What thoughts come to your mind when you read this passage today? Which statements do you relate with the most? Which piece is most important to you and your spiritual walk? Journal these answers so that you can compare with what you learn throughout the study.
3. Who wrote this passage? Where was he when he wrote it? Why would he write something like this? What experience did he have that gave him the understanding to write this passage about sheep and being a Shepherd?
4. Look at the first line: “The Lord is My Shepherd”. Describe what this line means to you personally without using the other lines in Psalm 23. (This means your answer cannot be “It means I will never be in want”.)
5. What does the name “Lord” mean and why is it important to understand that name to understand the rest of the passage?
6. Read John 10:11-15. List three things that you see in this passage that impact the way you read and feel about Psalm 23:1. (For example: We read in Psalm that “The Lord is My Shepherd” and in John “The GoodShepherd knows His Sheep”. How does the second statement impact the first?)
7. What is one area that you really hope to learn more about as we study this passage?
1. Before you start your study, what does the phrase, “I shall not be in want” mean to youpersonally? What have you been taught that it means? Is there an example of how it hasimpacted you in a personal way?
2. David experienced many times of struggle in his life. He had King Saul, along with hisson Absalom, who tried to find him and kill him. He had made plenty of mistakes. ReadPsalm 69:1-4. This passage was written around the same time as Psalm 23. Knowing thestruggles that David had gone through, what do you think this statement really meant tohim?
3. Is David’s statement of, “I shall not be in want” about having more or being content withwhat you have? Read 1 Tim. 6:6-10. What are the dangers of not being content with whatGod has given you?
4. What is the difference between being content with “what you have” and being contentwith “Who you have”? Should your contentment be based on what God has given you orWho God is as your Good Shepherd? How do we change the way we think in this area?
5. Read Matthew 6:24 and I Kings 18:21. How do these passages relate to the level ofcontentment you feel, or don’t feel, with God as your Shepherd?
6. Do you truly trust that God as your Good Shepherd has all of your needs covered? If not,what steps do you feel you can take so that you can make the statement, “I shall not be inwant” in your own life?
7. What encouragement do you need from the group as you try to grow in yourrelationship with the Father this week?
1. When David is describing His Shepherd, he claims, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Why is it so critical that the Shepherd gives the sheep an opportunity to lie down and rest?
2. In chapter three of the book, Keller listed four things that can keep a sheep from being able to rest. Those conditions are fear, tension, aggravation, and hunger. It is the Shepherd’s responsibility to solve these issues. How do these issues relate to things that can keep us from resting in peace?
3. Read Psalm 4:8. What would it look like for you to “lie down and sleep in peace”? What are the issues in your life that can keep you from being at peace? How does your trust in God relate to each of those areas? What is the result in your life if you cannot rest well?
4. There is nothing that brings more peace and security to a flock of sheep than the knowledge that their Shepherd is nearby. How does it help you rest and trust the Father when you know that He is always nearby? How should this change the way you deal with issues like fear, tension, aggravation, and hunger in your life?
5. Read Matthew 5:23-24. How can tension between you and another “sheep in the flock” keep you from being able to rest in peace?
6. Read II Timothy 1:7. What has God as your Shepherd already done for you that should keep you from living in fear?
7. What action steps can you take from this lesson that will help you learn to rest in the Father as your Good Shepherd?