Sheep are some of the densest creatures God created. They cannot find a food source on their own unlike deer and many other animals God created. In fact, they will stay on the same food plot and eat the green grasses down to the roots thus killing the food source. They are timid creatures with few survival skills and if it were put into a simple equation it would look like this ~ Danger + Sheep = Death.
The mere sound of running, life giving, water is frightening to them so a good shepherd must dam up a small section of the stream to create standing or “still” water for the sheep to be able to approach the stream and drink. The shepherd’s tools were his rod and staff. The rod was a straight wooden stick with a knob at the end and was carried in the shepherd’s belt. Used as a weapon to protect the flock from predators the rod was a lethal weapon and skilled shepherds could even fling the rod short distances to strike down predators that threatened the flock.
The staff was also wooden and had that familiar hook like crook at the top. Sheep would quite often wander off the path of safety and become entangled in dense brush or slip into small gulleys and the crook enabled the shepherd to reach out for the sheep and draw it out of harm and back to the safety of the flock. Psalm 23 can be regarded as a psalm of high praise of God. It is one of the shortest psalms, but it gets its point across very directly and clearly. It makes use of the extended metaphor which is a metaphor that develops at length and includes several points of comparison.
This psalm also uses the idea of parallelism that gives an idea in the first lines and keeps on repeating and elaborating in the later lines. Psalm 23 gives the comparison of God being a shepherd. This means that God protects and guides people like a real shepherd would do with sheep. The line that says, “He maketh me to lie down to green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Verse 2). That line serves to be an example of how God looks out for his creation or in other word his people.
This starts off the extended metaphor and ends in the last line with David mentioning how he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever which would be heaven. The tone of this psalm is dominant that God will take care of everything if the person follows God. David says that God will bless him with oil. In verse 4 David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. David gives a small problem or crisis in the first part of the verse and then resolves it in the last part of the verse.
He says that one day he will have to die, but he has no fear because he knows God’s power will be there for him and to comfort him. Verse 4 can also be mentioned as the theme of the psalm. The theme is that God will always be there for you which includes in times of good and bad and you should have no fear for he is your shepherd. THE 23RD PSALM BROKEN DOWN The Lord is my Shepherd ~ Relationship I shall not want ~ Provision He maketh me to lie down in green pastures ~ Comfort He leadeth me beside still waters ~ Peace He restoreth my soul ~ Healing
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness ~ Guidance For His name sake ~ Purpose Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ~ Trials & Testing I will fear no evil ~ Protection For thou art with me ~ Faithfulness Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me ~ Assurance Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies ~ Deliverance Thou anointest my head with oil ~ Consecration My cup runneth over ~ Abundance Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ~ Grace And I will dwell in the house of the Lord ~ Security Forever ~ Eternity