Goodness and Mercy All My Days – Deric Bartlett

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Deric continues the series ‘Shalom’ with a message titled ‘Goodness and Mercy All My Days’ based on Psalm 23.

1.   We gain shalom in the knowledge of God (v. 1-3)

2.   We experience shalom in the presence of God (v. 4-5)

3.   We inherit shalom as the gift of God  (v. 6)    

ICEBREAKER: Would you ride in a zeppelin if given a chance?

1. This beloved psalm begins and ends with the personal Name of the LORD based on the verb “to be”, referring to God’s self-existing and eternal nature. It was often used when delivering His people from bondage. With this background, how comforting is it to call Him “my Shepherd” [Psalm 23:1]? Consider Isaiah 40:11; John 10:11-15; and 1 Peter 2:25 as well.

2. Reflecting on the shepherding word picture, why do you think “green pastures” and “still waters” are significant for God’s “sheep” [Psalm 23:2]? Look up Ezekiel 34:11-16; John 10:9-10; and Revelation 7:16-17 as well.

3. From Psalm 23:3, how does being led by the LORD in paths of righteousness help to restore your soul [cf. Psalm 19:7; Proverbs 4:11; and John 10:2-4]?

4. David changed from writing about the LORD to writing to Him in Psalm 23:4, becoming even more personal. How is God’s presence in your life calming your fears through these difficult days [cf. Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 41:10; and Isaiah 43:1-2]?

5. David switched metaphors in Psalm 23:5 to a royal banquet. How does it make you feel knowing the LORD views you as His favoured guest as depicted by the references to a table, anointing oil, and a full cup [cf. Psalm 16:5-6; John 14:1-4; and 1 Thessalonians 4:17]?

6. Psalm 23:6 literally reads God’s goodness and mercy will “pursue me”. One of the best stories to illustrate this is King David’s gracious treatment of Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son [cf. 2 Samuel 9]. How does Psalm 23:6 give you hope in the middle of life’s current uncertainties [cf. Psalm 16:11; Psalm 27:4; Revelation 21:1-7, 22-27; and Revelation 22:1-6]?

“When we think of the shepherd we think of a gentle meek nurturer of the lambs, but that is a highly filtered image. Shepherds were tough, blue-collar workers who did difficult work in difficult circumstances. Part of that work was leading the sheep, but the other part of that work was beating the wolves. Both were involved. So, the truth is that the rugged view of a shepherd is closer to reality than the gentle view of the shepherd. More precisely, for Jesus graciously to protect the sheep, he must vigorously destroy the enemy.” (Steven W. Smith)