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Small Group Bible Study - Participant Handout

Psalm 23:1


David boasts in God, his shepherd, and is content under His care




Chapter 1: The LORD is my shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

The Importance of metaphor

  • In order to understand the unknown, we must first understand the known…

Who is God?- Why should we entrust ourselves to Him?

  • David knew from firsthand experience that the lot in life of any particular sheep depended on the type of man who owned it. (18)

  • If we pause to reflect on the person of Christ- on His power and His achievements- suddenly like David we will be glad to state proudly: the LORD - HE is my shepherd! (16)

Who are sheep?

  • It is no accident that God has chosen to call us sheep. The behavior of sheep and human beings is similar in many ways. Our mass mind (or mob instincts) our fears and timidity, our stubbornness and stupidity, our perverse habits are all parallels of profound importance. Yet despite these adverse characteristics Christ chooses us, buys us, calls us by name, makes us his own, and delights in caring for us. (22)

It’s Our Choice...

  • To think that God in Christ is deeply concerned about me as a particular person immediately gives great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet. (17)

  • Basically what it amounts to is this: a person exchanges the fickle fortunes of living life by sheer whimsy for the more productive and satisfying adventure of being guided by God. (26)

1. What are other examples of how God uses our knowledge of the world around us to help us understand spiritual truths? (the most important being who He is and who we are.)


2. What other metaphors are used in scripture?





Ch 2: I shall not want

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

What does it mean “not to want”?

  • One of the fallacies that is common among Christians today is the assertion that if a man or woman is prospering materially it is a significant mark of the blessing of God on his or her life. This simply is not so. 30

  • The Christian has to see his sojourn upon the planet as a brief interlude during which there may well be some privation in a physical sense. Yet amid such hardship he can still boast “I shall not want” 31

  • Contentment should be the hallmark of the man or woman who has put his or her affairs into the hands of god 34

  • I am completely satisfied with his management of my life. Why? Because he is the sheep man to whom no trouble is to great as He cares for his flock. 35

3. How does God use physical and financial trials to draw us closer to Him?


In response to today’s lesson, we can:

  • Learn that like sheep, we are incredibly vulnerable and dependant on the LORD, our shepherd.

  • Know that God has the right be be our shepherd because He created us and redeemed us.

  • Be sure that even when we lack much, we lack nothing in Christ.


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