The US has been independent since 1776. Yet, after every four years, its independent citizens keep looking for a political hero who will make America great again by providing, protecting and championing for the rights of every American Tom, Dick and Harriet. Kenya will soon follow suit when the whole nation goes into an electioneering mode.
Election campaigns show how dependent we have become on the political system to fix our problems. It is usually a time when every politician ends up promising what they may not be able to deliver. Most of them will even forget they have been making and breaking the same promises for decades now! But we will surely listen to them and depend on their word.
Holywood understands the human nature that thrives on dependency. That is why they have all sorts of heroes that appeal to all generations. Depending on your age; you will find yourself looking up to Captain America, Supwerwoman, the Powerpuff Girls or Ben 10. And if you are like some of us, you are still waiting, with your fingers crossed, for the Commando to be back!
King David knew what dependency meant. As a shepherd he knew how much the sheep depended on him. As a father, he had lost a child and knew the pain that comes with it. As a commander in chief, he saw soldiers and fellow friends fall and die on the battlefield. Much as he was a decorated warrior, a feared king and an accomplished shepherd, King David knew that Only God could be relied upon to provide, protect and guide.
His experience is well captured in Psalm 23 that has been quoted, sung and recited by people from all walks of life. There are three lessons that we can draw from Psalm 23.
#1. God Provides, Refreshes and Restores
When sheep lie down in green pastures, they do so because they are well fed. It is a sign that they are full and their need for food has been well met and satisfied by the shepherd. Child of God, your need for a job, rent, school fees and even partner for Valentine will be adequately met by Our Caring and Capable God. God knows and cares about your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
God refreshes us by giving us rest. Rest is much more than taking a break from our weekly duties at work. There is nothing that can give us complete rest that God’s refreshing assurance that we are His children and He is able to take care of us and the things that are beyond our power and control. When we spend time resting, God restores our energy, strength, motivation and courage to face the challenges that come in our lives.
#2. God Guides and Directs in Righteousness
One day, I was driving from Ngong Town and had just passed the police road block when I saw a traffic jam ahead. 10 minutes later, I saw drivers ahead make a detour around a sheep that was breastfeeding its young one right in the middle of the road. Most drivers who were un-schooled in the ways of the sheep, wasted their energy and time hooting at the sheep. Those who knew, navigated around it and went on their way. A few minutes later, a young shepherd boy came and led the two sheep out of danger.
And just like that sheep, we may have messed up by committing mistakes that have tainted our names, image and courage. God is the Only One Who is able to guide and direct our path. Look up to Him and depend on His guidance and direction.
#3. God Protects Us from all Manner of Danger
King David knew that staying on the paths of righteousness does not exempt us from the dark valley of death. God knows that goodness and mercy will come out of the evil that threaten to overwhelm us. There are threat all over, such as, terrorism, families breaking up, loss of jobs, being deserted during valentine and many more that we are not able to see. David knew that safety isn’t the absence of danger. It is feeling secure that God will be a constant companion through it all.
There is a celebration at the end of it all when God makes our growth in Him complete. He prepares a table of celebration right before enemies as a testimony of His goodness and mercy. He anoints us with the kind of favour that overflows and blesses those around us. God makes sure that our joy is complete in Him. He fulfills His promises by protecting us from the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy. He gives us abundant life and enables us to live to the fullest (John 10:10).
Psalm 23 is about God’s unending goodness and mercy that follows us for the rest of our lives. He will never leave nor forsake us. We therefore need to;
- build a relationship with Him,
- Surrender and trust Him
- Obey Him
Sunday Sermon notes
Date: January 31, 2016
Minister: Pastor Simon Mbevi
Church: Nairobi Chapel
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever,” Psalm 23:6