I love that this Psalm offers such hope of protection. I see all those phrases that sound oh so lovely- "covered with His wings" , "His faithfulness is our shield" , "angels guarding us". It makes it seem like we can just cruise through life without a care in the world.
That would be ideal if we were on a cruise ship, but here's the thing ladies. This is Christian walk is a battle ship. We don't get to avoid life's attacks. Jesus promises as much in John 16:33 when He says " In this world you will have trouble...." not might, not maybe some of you. YOU WILL!
Our lives, and our Christian walk will not always be pretty. Loved ones will die. Unexpected bills will challenge our finances. Children will stray far from the faith we want them to embrace. Our bodies will fail and our hearts will break. And yet there's a couple of promises we can cling to in this sweet Psalm.
Verses 9-10 tell us "If you only say ' the Lord is my refuge' and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent". Harm will still come near us and threaten our peace of mind. Life may get unpleasant but harm will not overtake us. We stand in the shadow of the Almighty. He stands right beside us in the midst of all our struggles. He is the Captain or our battle ship. Ahoy!
Love, as always, Renée
Now on to this week's lesson
Read Psalm 23
Memory verse 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod an your staff, they comfort me
1. In order to fully appreciate a shepherd, we need to fully understand the animals in their care. What do you know about the characteristics of sheep?
2. How many of those characteristics do you share?
3. Vs2 says "he makes me lie down in green pastures. Where in your life are you caught up in busyness?
4. Sheep by nature are fearful. They're frightened by quick moving water which is why's they need the shepherd to guide them to quiet waters. Where do you need God to quiet your soul?
5.A shepherd does his part- bringing the sheep beside still waters. How are you doing your part to drink in what God offers?
6. What dark valley has God walked you through?
7. We often associate a rod and staff as tools of discipline. How can it be comforting to be disciplined?
8. How have you experienced God's goodness and love this past week?
For personal growth: One of the problems with sheep is that they're headstrong. They go their own way even if that means they're heading straight into danger. They'll eat poisonous weeds even as their shepherd is leading them into lush green pastures. How often do you do the sme thing? Do you go your own way too? Has that ever worked for you? What is it about you that makes it hard to trust in God's leading? Might it be pride? Do you think you can do better on your own? What will it take to get you to completely surrender to God's leading?
For the good of the group: Vs 5 speaks of anointing with oil. Generally this was done to keep flies and pests away but oil was also used for treating wounds. From what has God healed you?