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Small Group Bible Study - Leader Guide

Psalm 23:5

Overview

With Christ as our shepherd, we can walk contented and calm in an ever-changing and unsettled world.

Background

David was a shepherd as a child and later came to be known as the “shepherd king.” God put David in charge of His own personal flock: the children of Israel.

Read

Read the entire chapter. What stands out? Comments? Questions?

Warm up

Give an example of a time when you had to do something for which you were totally unprepared. (A quiz, a work-related task, a conversation) How did you feel? What did you do? We prepare because we like to be in control. List what we control in life and what we don’t. How can christians face an incredibly unpredictable world and yet come prepared? Through Christ...

Examine

Psalm 23:5

Notes

Ch 9 You prepare a table before me

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over..” (Psalm 23:5)

 

 

  • At all times we would be wise to walk a little closer to Christ. This is one sure place of safety. It was always the distant sheep, the roamers, the wanderers, that were picked off by the predators in an unsuspecting moment. (131)

 

  • It is this attitude of trust in Him, of confidence in His care, of relaxation as we realize His presence in the picture that we can make the Christian life one of calm and quiet confidence. The Christian walk can thus become a mountaintop experience- a tableland trip- simply because we are in the care and control of Christ, who had been over all this territory before us and prepared the “table” for us in plain view of our enemies who would demoralize and destroy us if they could. (133)

 

  • It is not always apparent to us what tremendous personal cost it has been for Christ to prepare the table for his own. Just as the lonely personal privation of the sheepman who prepares the summer range for his flock entails a sacrifice, so the lonely agony of gethsemane, of Pilates hall, of Calvary, have cost my master much. (134)

Discuss

1. In what ways has Christ prepared us for challenges that we will face in life?

 

 

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Examine

Ch 10 You anoint my head with oil

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over..” (Psalm 23:5)

 

  • Only those people who have kept livestock or studied wildlife habits are aware of the serious problems for animals presented by insects in summer. (138)

 

  • Once the oil has been applied to the sheep’s head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation, gone the frenzy, gone the irritability and the restlessness. Instead the sheep would start to feed quietly again, then soon lie down in peaceful contentment. (140)

 

  • There are those who contend that in the Christian life one need only have a single initial anointing of God's spirit. Yet the frustrations of daily dilemmas demonstrate that one must have him come continuously to the troubled mind and heart to counteract the attacks of one’s tormentors. (141)

 

  • As the children of God, the sheep in the divine shepherd's care, we should be known as the most contented people on earth. A quiet, restful, contentment should be the hallmark of those who call Christ their master. (148)

Discuss

2. How do we access God’s anointing oil, the Holy Spirit?

 

 

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

 

 

Apply

In response to today’s lesson, we can:

  • Remember that it is only by walking close to Christ that we can face life’s challenges calmly because we know that He has prepared our way.

  • Know that being filled with God’s spirit daily is the only way to be free from aggravations and frustrations.

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