Download the file of The Father Ran at your answers down before checking the text of The Father Ran!!The Shepherd's Psalm - Psalm 23 (Page 102-106)

On its own a sheep is helpless. This psalm is different because few of us knows the role of a shepherd and the status of a sheep.

David himself was a shepherd and saw the Lord as his shepherd  which means that he realised he was as helpless as a sheep needing the Lord to do exactly in his life what he did in his role as a shepherd as he walked in front of his sheep leading them by sounds he made with his voice. The Lord made sure his sheep lacked nothing.

The Lord led him to areas of good feeding and afterwards made him lie down to regurgitate that which he had eaten and chew it again. He does all of this because he is only thinking of his welfare.

The Lord led him, a sheep, to slow moving streams or to a well where he would draw water so that he could drink as much as he needed. Should his sheep enter a vineyard and cause damage, the shepherd would pay the owner so that the sheep could be restored to the flock.

He guides the sheep to areas that would benefit them as he alone knows what is good for them.

A change takes place in his thinking during a time of danger and possible loss. The shepherd does not fear because 'You Lord are with me'. I am a sheep. You are with me. Your rod comforts me by holding my head in place so you can attend to my every need and your staff can be used to retrieve me from areas of danger and loss.

You (my shepherd) prepare a place of safety where you give me your special personal attention. You pour olive oil on my injuries and you place a cup of water under my mouth with more than enough water.

I will only know goodness and mercy all the days of my life and I will live in the secure presence of the Lord forever. Not only in this life.

David knows what it is to be a shepherd. He knows also what it is to be a sheep.

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall lack nothing. Why?  He knows my every need.

My status is that of a sheep, totally dependent on the shepherd. Isaiah 53:6 'All we like sheep go astray. Everyone has turned to go his own way & the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.'

I need a shepherd. Why? I do not know my own needs! I do not know how to meet those needs. I do not know how He will meet those needs.

What follows is His meeting of my needs: I need spiritual food.  Every word that comes out of the mouth of God. I need that to be explained and applied. I need to think how it applies in my life. I need time to think.

So what does the shepherd do? He makes me a sheep lie down in green pastures. Why? I am a ruminant. I need to feed on the food  He has led me to and then once I have eaten it, I need to regurgitate it. So the Word of God has to be taken in, thought about & applied.

My shepherd is the good Shepherd. He leads me beside still waters. I need spiritual refreshment. I need a time and place to drink at  slowly moving water or water from a well. He restores my soul. This could refer to a time of drinking. The Holy Spirit  knows that songs of rejoicing are needed to keep our relationship with the Lord ever fresh.

Or a time of restoration when I go astray and cause damage to a vineyard, so He pays the price to keep me as His and belonging to His flock. Without that price being paid I would be lost forever.

My Shepherd leads me in paths of righteousness. He alone knows what is good for me.

I leave it to Him to show me what to eat and where to eat and where to avoid danger. All of this because He alone knows. I am only a sheep. On my own I go astray.

A change takes place as I follow the Shepherd. He leads me in times when I no longer see Him but I know He is there. I do not even hear His voice but I am aware of Him. It is a time when I walk in the valley of the shadow of death. A time of great danger. Why? 8.A time of darkness. The enemy is involved, who seeks to do me harm but it is the presence of the Good Shepherd that makes the difference. No longer He but You.

Danger & trials draw me closer to the Shepherd. He uses His rod and staff. For my safety and to keep me close to Him.

You not he prepares a place of security in times of danger from the enemy. As you hold me still by placing Your rod behind my head so that You can examine me closely and ascertain if there are any areas that need healing which will require olive oil or resin, while you place a bowl of water so I can drink as much as I like  because the water overflows. My shepherd does not just give what I need but more than that.

He is generous.

I am aware that if He cares for me in this way in times of danger and trials then out of His character of goodness and love He will attend to my every need all my life. I will live in the house of my good Shepherd  not just in this life but forever.

I need Him to express His love to meet my every need. My need of forgiveness my need of being loved and cared for. Nothing will separate Him from me.

The THREE PSALM  Psalm 32 (page 107-109)

The Seven Threes. A psalm of repentance

David after adultery and murder. What had he lost?  Way back?

Why happy? Transgression – act of rebellion, going one’s own way. Sin forgiven

Sin – straying away from the path directed by God.  Sin covered.

Iniquity – inner depravity, opposed to the holiness of God. Sin not imputed

v4: Results of not confessing sin: Physical weakness, heavy hand of God, no vitality.

v5: Action required: Admitted sin, uncovered iniquity, transgressions confessed.

All forgiven

v7: Results of restoration: God our refuge, protection from trouble, rejoicing returns.

v8: Promise of guidance:  Instruct, teach and advise

v11: Results of restoration:  Be glad rejoice & shout for joy

David sinned. How?  Kept quiet for two years. Nathan revealed it all.

David had lost what?  Three words for sin teach us to be what? Not ? But ?

Results of sin reveal what? Three aspects of life. Not hidden from God. Therefore?

How to deal with sin?  Be honest with who & who?  Need to?

How do you know you have been forgiven?   Why can God forgive you?

v8: After forgiven what is needed?  Where obtained? Who will help?  Your part?

How to maintain. Harden not?

v11: Evidence of restoration? What was the first word used in the psalm? Why is there nothing like that for the person in a relationship with God?

Talking to yourself - Psalm 42+43 (Page 110-111)

Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 are all one psalm in the Hebrew Bible One verse is repeated 3 times. What is this person doing?  Do you do that ? You should because there are times when you must use what you have discovered. Knowledge without application eventually is lost. Every now & then encourage yourself. How?

Three times he does that which people did in the time of Jesus and which Jesus encouraged. What is that?

v1: We are in the period of lockdown and cannot attend services so we can identify with the psalmist who longs to be where? He likens his longing to what?  So he is going through what kind of period?

v2: What is most important to him? Is that the same with you? What does the apparent absence of God indicate? Is God not present?  Is it a sign of trust on God’s part. Why does He do that? Is He trying to strengthen your faith in Him so it is not dependent on how you feel?

v2-3:  He is what? How does he feel? What causes tears & sorrow?  People are asking him a question. God seems to be ? Doing?

v4: How does he resolve the problem. What does he do? Pouring out his soul shows that he is what with God? What does he remember. Was he a person following others? What was he doing?  He remembers doing two things. Are you doing that? Why should you be doing that? What has God done for you?

v5: What is he doing? Do you do that? You should. People did that with Jesus. The woman who washed His feet with her tears Luke 7. The centurion whose servant was ill. What does he tell himself to do?  Why because He knows what about God?

v6: How does he feel about himself? He remembers what in the past? Mt Hermon always covered with snow, waterfalls, waves & breakers speak of abundant water. Refreshes him.

v8: The Lord directs His love in the day – how? What does he see? Water does what? At night the song of the Lord rings in his heart. God places  what in him? That of gratitude.

v9-10:  How would you describe the man?  This is what God wants us to be! God seems to be what?  Two things Not?  Not?  Spiritual problems result in physical ill health. People are taunting him that his God seems to be ?

v11: His response is to do what he did in verse 5. Why does he repeat himself? How does he encourage himself?  What must we do when we are downcast and depressed?  Think of songs of praise that you have stopped singing. Sometimes you need to take hold of yourself and remind yourself of what you know about God that you learned in the past.

Psalm 43

v1: Note how different is his prayer. Calling on God to do three things?

v2: Why? What does he know about God? What makes him think God has rejected him? What is the state of his spiritual life? Is he on his own?  Could he alone be right ?

v3: What does light mean? Could it be insight & understanding?  Where does he find the truth of God?   Why does he need both light & truth. What does he want light & truth to do? Where does God live?  A holy place. The Holy of Holies in the temple.

v4: What is the outcome of light and truth upon his life?  What is God to him? Is He the same to you?  If He is what will you do that the psalmist did?  Remember there is still a sense of being downcast but he knows that when God intervenes in his life a radical change will take place.

v5: What is he still doing?  What does that teach you?  What two aspects of his life is he aware of?  Is it permanent?  What is the answer? He used the word hope, what would we use? When God intervenes once more in his life, he knows in three things that do not change. 1? 2? 3?  Jesus told His disciples, “Have faith in God.”  God never changes. There are periods of silence, of no communication, of no apparent blessing or visible manifestation of God reigning and in control. He is trusting us to keep trusting Him. We show that by praising Him even though we do not feel full of joy. We praise Him for who He is, for what He has done and what He is going to do.  We need light and truth. God has supplied both. Where?