Recently one of the great preachers of our time, Robert Smith, Jr, professor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School came to our area and preached to us from the 23rd Psalms. He made what was a most familiar passage live again for us. Among his points were the following:
*We are sheep. We are like sheep. We need a shepherd. We need a shepherd who is also our Lord.
*We need to be nourished by lush pastures and still waters. God provides for our needs.
*We need restored because we will need to go through valleys, valleys with dangers and with deep shadows. Shadows indicate that the sun is shining somewhere. We will see it again.
*The rod and the staff will protect us from our enemies and retrieve us from our missteps.
*The narrow path of righteousness is what we need to follow. And our shepherd will keep us in it.
*One day we will be housed in the heavenly barn and be well filled.
Dr. Smith made much of the fact that as we go through the hard times our relationship with God will change from the more formal to the more familiar–from he to you. In danger God becomes more real and significant to us.