Psalm 23. Being a sheep.

So, this is the second in a little series on Psalm 23, which I’m chatting through with three lads I meet with on a weekly basis.  This is inspired by Urban Saints’ ‘LiveLife1-2-3’.  As before, we’ll kick off with a ‘starter question’, and then chat through a bit of the Psalm.  I think this post might be a bit less rambling than the previous one.  They’re intention is twofold; either they might help you to think through the Psalm, or they might help you in bringing others to a fuller understanding of the Psalm in a group or one-to-one setting.

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If you could be any type of animal you wanted, what would you be?

For me, it would be a snow leopard, hands down, every time.  They look cool, they speak of my heritage (growing up in the foothills of the Himalayas), and there’s something appealing about their solitude…

Needless to say, people will generally plump for ‘cool’, or big, or strong animals, and I’m not exception.  It’s pretty rare that people want to be something like a shrew (and if they do, there’s generally a good reason for it!).

According to our Psalm, what are we?  What do you know about sheep?  What do sheep follow?  How do they live?
The sheep in the Psalm are pretty reliant on their shepherd.  They get led to pasture, to water.  They are protected.  Not exactly living in glorious independence (or the solitude of my Snow Leopard!).
What about the lost sheep?  What happened to it?
It needed to be found – to be rescued.
Isaiah 53:6.  We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us going his own way.
How would you like to be a sheep?  How might it compare to the animal you’d first wanted to be?
We don’t always get it right, but God is always our shepherd.  We need Him.  We like to think that we can do life by ourselves, but we simply can’t.  The Psalm will go on to tell us about God’s care for us, how he shepherds us, and so we’ll look at it further in the coming weeks.
If you wanted another New Testament passage, you could throw in Mark 6, particularly verse 34:  “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
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