Thursday, June 3, 2021

READ THE BIBLE WITH Amanda Grace--Psalm 23 Part 1 The Character of a True Shepherd Then and Now!

John 10:11-16 Jesus, Yeshua, States (CJB) 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, since he isn’t a shepherd and the sheep aren’t his own, sees the wolf coming, abandons the sheep, and runs away. Then the wolf drags them off and scatters them. 13 The hired worker behaves like this because that’s all he is, a hired worker; so it doesn’t matter to him what happens to the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me — 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father — and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. 16 Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.

David, the author of the psalm was the son of a shepherd, Jesse, and was also a shepherd himself. He would later come to be known as the “Shepherd King” of Israel.

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “I like to recall the fact that this psalm was written by David, probably when he was a king. He had been a shepherd, and he was not ashamed of his former occupation.”


David knew all the qualities that comprised a Good Shepherd, and God knows exactly the qualities that comprised a Good Shepherd. David also knew how sheep should behave who was under the proper care and covering of a Good Shepherd. This is something he knows, it's how the Lord began training him up to become a King and lead the entire flock of Israel for 40 years.


David in the first sentence of Psalm 23 is admitting He NEEDS a Shepherd, that he needs one to lead and guide him, that truly he is like one of the lost sheep without one who knows more than he to lead him.


Our view of the Lord is often too small, too cramped, and too narrow-minded in light of who He really is, The Creator and the One who sits on the throne and rules and reigns, who speaks it and it is so…Because of this many times we are all too unwilling to allow Him to have authority, control, or outright ownership of our lives, being that we were PURCHASED with a high price, as at the cross a transaction took place and Jesus laid down His life for us. The Cross was made of wood, When Jesus laid down at the Cross he did what Shepherds truly do for their sheep.


Just think for a moment...if you take soil and put it under a good microscope there are probably billions of microorganisms teeming within that soil. The King of kings brought into being the most gigantic of galaxies to the tiniest of microbes, only a small part is understood in the scheme of this all. Yet our Creator and Shepherd understands it all as it functions within certain laws of Order because God is a God of Divine Order.


Sheep in the land of Israel

LARGE NUMBER OF SHEEP IN PALESTINE. From the days of Abraham down to modern times, sheep have abounded in the Holy Land. The Arabs of the Bible have largely been dependent through the centuries upon sheep for their living. The Jews of Bible times were first shepherds and then farmers, but they never abandoned entirely their shepherd life. The large number of sheep in the land can be understood when it is realized that Job had fourteen thousand sheep (Job. 42:12) and that King Solomon at the Temple's dedication, sacrificed one hundred and twenty thousand sheep (1Kings 8:63).


The Lord is My Shepherd: It implies a deep yet practical working relationship between a human being and his or her maker, linking a lump of common clay to The Lord Almighty’s divine plan for your life.


Now the beautiful relationship, between the Lord and us, that is spoken of over and over in scripture is a Father to his Children, and A Shepherd to His sheep The Infinite Alpha and Omega of the Universe, assumes the role of Shepherd Towards His people, ponder this for a moment...


It should be the subject of grateful admiration that Almighty God allows himself to be compared to anything on earth, in a way lowering himself, which will set forth his great love and care for his own people.


David compares himself to a creature, in this case, sheep, whose characteristics consist of weak, defenseless, and foolish, and David takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything. You see the Shepherd is EVERYTHING to the sheep, they guide, lead, direct, protect, defend, without the shepherd the sheep are literally sitting ducks for predators and would be left to their own devices to find pastures, open pastures, which make them vulnerable to not only predators but without the shepherd leading the journey the sheep could very well be harmed in other ways. Remember the shepherd sees before the sheep see.


Remember David had firsthand experience being a shepherd tending his father Jesse’s flock and knows the requirements that this job entails. He knows the character of the shepherd because before he was King of Israel, he was indeed a shepherd. David knew that the lot in life of any particular sheep greatly depended upon the character of the man who owned it. Some men were intelligent, kind, compassionate, brave, and selfless in their actions toward their flock, and the sheep would thrive and live content!. However under another man sheep would struggle, starve, and suffer much hardship.


So IF The Lord is truly My Shepherd, right here I should already understand something about His character.


Remember we are a mere speck of material in an enormous universe the Lord created

No man has a right to consider himself the Lord's sheep unless his nature has been renewed unless he or she has truly become a new creation in and through Christ. for the Biblical description of unconverted men does not depict them as sheep but as wolves or goats. A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price.


We belong to Him simply because he deliberately chose to create us as the object of His own Affection. We are created in his image.


When David says the Lord is MY Shepherd he makes this very clear. He does not say the Lord is the Shepherd, he says MY Shepherd. That is an act of submission on David’s part because Sheep submit to their shepherd, especially when they trust their Shepherd. It's coming under the pastoral care of Jehovah, Adonai, Almighty God knowing that he KNOWS BETTER THAN YOU, for He sees way ahead of things at the moment that you cannot. It was usual in Greece to give names to the sheep and that the sheep obeyed the shepherd when he called them by their names. A stranger they will not follow but will flee from him, this is true with many sheep that those who are not identified as the shepherd they will flee from.


Annie, who moderates and volunteers for Ark of Grace, her daughter Jules put this to the test with their little lamb Archie. Archie KNOWS Jules Voice, and when from a distance she called him and he heard the VOICE, that familiar, comforting voice, he took off and came running right for her.


John 10:7-10 So Yeshua said to them again, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that I am the gate for the sheep. All those who have come before me have been thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.


There were commonly 2 types of pens that Shepherds utilized in Biblical times: One type of pen was found in cities – a big pen, where several shepherds could keep their flocks, all of their sheep, together. This type of pen had a door, which was guarded at night by a gatekeeper against predators and thieves. In the morning, the shepherds would come and call their flock out. The sheep would follow only their shepherd because they knew his voice, just as Jesus says in John 10:5: “They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”


The second type of sheepfold that was common in Jesus’ time was a smaller pen out in the countryside. The shepherd would keep his sheep out there in good weather. The walls of these pens were made of piles of rocks, and there was no gate – just an opening through which the sheep would enter. To keep his sheep inside and to keep wild animals out, the shepherd would lie down across the opening to sleep. Jesus, Yeshua is the gate for us, because he LAYED DOWN His life for us at the Cross

These gates that sheep entered through were not wide but narrow, especially in cities where room was at a premium.


Matthew 7:13 CJB:  Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it;


I SHALL NOT WANT...

I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply all my needs, now needs is different than a want. However, both appear to be addressed. He is certainly willing to do so, for His heart is full of love for His children, and therefore "I shall not want." I shall not lack for temporal things, temporary. Does the Lord not feed the ravens, and have his eye on the sparrow?


I shall not want for spiritual needs, I know that His grace will be sufficient for me. Resting in Him He will say to me, "As thy day so shall thy strength be." I may not possess all that I wish for, but "I shall not want." Others, far wealthier and wiser than I, may want, but "I shall not. Because God knows exactly how to fill me, provide for me, and lead me in the way He knows I should go.


Psalm 34:10 The young lions lack [food] and grow hungry, But they who seek the LORD will not lack any good thing.

Isaiah 30:21 With your ears you will hear a word from behind you:

“This is the way; stay on it,

whether you go to the right or the left.” 


Come what may, those who allow the Lord to shepherd them shall not want

The wicked always want, but the righteous never; a sinner's heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content.- Charles Spurgeon


HE MAKES ME TO LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES, HE LEADS ME BESIDES STILL WATERS:


The life of a believer has 2 elements to it , the contemplative and the active

The contemplative: He makes me to lie down in green pastures. So what are these green pastures that he speaks of?


Well grass, long enough that the flock can comfortably lie down in it, and it provides a cushion and comfort of sorts, Sweet, full, and nourishing are the doctrines of the gospel; A good Shepherd brings the flock to grass that is ripe and deeply nourishing, fit food for souls, as tender grass is natural nutrition for sheep. It nourishes and satisfies them. When by faith we are enabled to find rest in the promises of God and His Word, we are like the sheep that lie down in the midst of the pasture and feel secure because our watchful shepherd is there;

Peace, Rest, and Satisfaction is in this Pasture because when one truly lets the Lord lead them as a Shepherd would, there is a trust and contentment that naturally develops, that bond should grow stronger and deeper over time, as time and time again the Lord demonstrates that HE IS FAITHFUL.


There are some distracted souls who would give worlds if they could but do this. They know the blessedness of it, but they cannot say that this blessedness is theirs. They know the "green pastures," but they are not made to "lie down" in them. Those believers who have for years enjoyed a "full assurance of faith" should greatly bless their gracious God. When one lies down they feel safe, they feel protected, they are at peace, they are resting under the watchful eye of the Shepherd fully trusting that the Shepherd will not let them be harmed and willfully engage a threat before that threat ever reaches them. We not only think, but we act. We are not always lying down to feed, but are journeying onward towards the mark of the high calling; hence we read, 


"He leadeth me beside the still waters." What are these "still waters"

Now, what are these still waters?

His Spirit attends us in various operations, like waters--in the plural--to cleanse, to refresh, to fertilize, to cherish. They are "still waters," for the Holy Spirit loves peace,


How many of us know there can be a storm that rages around us and simultaneously the Holy Spirit can keep us at peace. It doesn’t mean we don’t see the storm or the threat, it means we are at peace because we understand we are under a covering.


Now still waters, if we think about this, a raging river moves, it's furious, its sweeps things up in its current, it is not peaceful, BUT a lake say, especially in the early morning or evening is STILL its peaceful, serene. 


Kushner's words: "When the psalmist praises God for leading him beside the still waters, he is not only thanking God for providing him with refreshing water to quench his thirst. He is thanking God for keeping the waters still, keeping them manageable and less threatening"

Remember David as a shepherd and when on the run from Saul had to cross bodies of water, imagine trying to bring sheep across a raging river, imagine David running from Saul trying to get across a raging angry river?


Example from the New testament


Mark 4:35-41 35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace,[g] be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How[his it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

The waters were raging from a Storm and Jesus, Yeshua, the Good Shepherd spoke to them and made them still and brought peace to the entire situation.

Still waters run deep. Nothing more noisy than an empty drum. That silence is golden indeed in which the Holy Spirit meets with the souls of his saints. Not to raging waves of strife, but to peaceful streams of holy love does the Spirit of God conduct the chosen sheep. He is a dove, not an eagle; the dew, not the hurricane. Our Lord leads us beside these "still waters;" we could not go there of ourselves, we need his guidance, therefore it is said, "he leadeth me." He does not drive us. Moses drives us by the law, but Jesus leads us by his example, and the gentle drawing of his love.-Charles Spurgeon

Although a Shepherd will move the sheep in the direction he wants them to go, that we will get into


Verse 3. "He restoreth my soul."

Definition of restore: The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the verb "restore" as to bring back to or put back something to a former or original state (Restore, n.d.).

When the soul grows sorrowful The Lord revives it; when it is sinful He sanctifies it; when it is weak he strengthens it. "He" does it. His ministers could not do it if he did not. His Word would not avail by itself. "He restoreth my soul."


2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.


The Shepherd is Strong where the sheep are weak. The Shepherd more than makes up for the shortcomings of the Sheep. the Shepherd can see danger coming in the distance, the Shepherd has an ability to comprehend and quickly act in the sheep’s best interest when the sheep do not even understand the danger on the horizon. They are trained to move with the shepherd and to TRUST the shepherd is leading them in a good, safe, and protected direction.


Are any of us low in grace? Do we feel that our spirituality is at its lowest Tide? He who turns the Tide into the flood can soon restore our soul. We are vessels, earthen vessels with souls and spirits who need the infilling of the Spirit of the Lord.


He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." The Christian delights to be obedient, but it is the obedience of love, to which he is constrained by the example of his Master. "He leadeth me." The Christian is not obedient to some commandments and neglectful of others; he does not pick and choose, but yields to all. Observe, that the plural is used--"the paths of righteousness." Whatever God may give us to do we would do it, led by his love-Charles Spurgeon


1 Samuel 15:22 Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

When the Sheep Obey the Shepherd there is order and there is safety. It takes a good and wise Shepherd, one who knows His Sheep, to get them to willingly Obey. If the Shepherd begins to pacify and APPEASE the sheep too much, too many shepherds confuse love with appeasement and they think they are “loving” but are really appeasing the sheep which then encourages bad behavior to as tares, grow. Many Shepherds want to appease the government right now thinking that will keep the government from overreaching any further into the flock when in fact it is quite the opposite. The more you are willing to bow to a predatory overreach, the more the predator takes it as weakness and makes an even stronger advance….


Some Christians overlook the blessing of sanctification (definition: the action or process of being freed from sin or purified), and yet to a thoroughly renewed heart, this is one of the sweetest gifts of the covenant. If we could be saved from wrath, and yet remain unregenerate, impenitent sinners, we should not be saved as we desire, for we mainly and chiefly pant to be saved from sin and led in the way of holiness. All this is done out of pure free grace; "for his name's sake." It is to the honor of our great Shepherd that we should be a holy people, walking in the narrow way of righteousness. If we be so led and guided we must not fail to adore our heavenly Shepherd's care.-Charles Spurgeon

14 comments:

  1. Amanda! Thank you for this beautiful teaching! I just had to share my own personal experience. My faith journey has been a rocky one at times throughout my life, but since finding you and other prophets, I am renewed and I’m ALL IN!!! I am sharing this journey with my dear sister in Christ and we are literally blown away EVERY DAY by how GREAT our GOD is! A few months ago, I said out loud to my husband, “I really should read the Bible more, but don’t know where to start”. Shortly thereafter, I began being awakened in the night by a Voice, giving me specific scripture to read. This has happened almost every night since, as long as I faithfully seek Him each day! PRAISE GOD! Just yesterday morning, God commanded me to read John 10! There are NO COINCIDENCES when it comes to our GOD! Thank you for sharing of yourself and I can’t wait to meet you in person in Tampa and at the beach revival! GOD BLESS you and Chris and all your precious animals! 💛love, Kathy

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  2. Thanks so much for this beautiful and timely message. I am so thankful for your voice of clarity, always pointing me to our eternal hope, Jesus. I have been reminded of His character and nature by watching you. I thank my God daily for the faithful prophets, of whom you are, we've never needed you more! Love and prayers, Lori Day

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  3. what a wonderful message. It is a great one to share with others at my church. God is working in an amazing way through you

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  4. Amanda, have you started from the last verse and read to the 1st. It’s amazing that way too!

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  5. Amanda- is this the beginning of the prophecy of the Dragon and Persia- God turning up the sea to destroy their plans? https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1400825204037804032?s=21

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  6. A wonderful breath of the Spirit, Amanda. Its such an amazing Psalm, so reassuring and comforting to a sheep! The Lord has been bringing this to my attention for 2 years now. It keeps on speaking loud to me. Praise God, and thank you. Ruth

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  7. Love this. It really resonated with me, and I have been experiencing personally what it means to fend off a predator, and standing my ground. Yes, you are either going towards God right now, or away from God. You cannot appease or bargain, but stand in spiritual strength and put up a line in the sand as continuing on the path of righteousness, not backing down, and let the chips fall as they may. We cannot serve God or mammon or any other voice.

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  8. Thank you so much, Amanda. This is a wonderful teaching! May I have permission to print this teaching out and share it with my Bible Study group?

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  9. My parents are retired from the ministry, elderly and mostly isolated due to the plandemic, but shepherds to the core! We'd been discussing the state of affairs in the US for over an hour when I found this and read this to them. Thank you for your due diligence for this word in due season, several times Dad shouted out in agreement as The Spirit confirmed in him what he heard. Thank you for offering comfort and hope in very uncertain times 🙏 May God continue to richly bless yourfamily, home and ministry in Jesus's Mighty Name

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  10. I have been waking up in the middle of the night talking about things a lot of times I know nothing about, words and phrases I know nothing about, and urged by God to do things for a little over 2yrs. I have a visitor that gives me messages and shares images. I had a NDE yrs ago that has come full circle in meanings.This started the last week of Jan. 2019 the anniversary of my 28yr old Sons death in a wreck with a dream. In the dream God was DEMANDING that I pay attention. He threw down a huge lightening bolt in front of me in the shape of a cross with a baby beneath it. At first I thought it had something to do with my last grandson's birth a few days later on 2-1-19. Then God brought me to social media for Trump and I found the horror of the tortured children and depth of the corruption against God. It has been an almost daily journey with God and the visitors evidently he is sending me. Thank you for your sharing. I just wanted to share with you as I believe God is talking to a lot of us and many are afraid to share because of being thought crazy and being ridiculed. Angel Here NANA @sirhuckleberry anonup.com

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  11. Great Barrier Reef

    https://youtu.be/DejhDPs2QzM

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  12. Thank you for being a willing prophet and servant of our God.

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  13. I wonder if the end of the Dynasty would be Walmart?

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