Lesson 1 Review: The Shepherd’s Crucible


Memory Text: “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3, NKJV).

Sophie after being heartbroken by someone she held as a friend got her eyes staring at Psalm 23:3, 4. This Bible portion incited an argument within her, The Psalm talks about the Shepherd guiding the sheep in the paths of righteousness and this very path seem to include the valley of the shadow of death. She wondered if the betrayal of her friend is one of God’s ways of training her in righteousness. Hard things have a way of strengthening our faith.

Why is the Shepherd such a good way of picturing God?

The shepherd is a good way to picture God because of what the Shepherd does and how it connects with the relationship, we have with God. The Shepherd cares for the sheep, seeks the wandering sheep, is sensitive to the feelings of the sheep and is willing to do what he has to do to ensure the sheep’s safety. Psalm 23 tells us of how God acts as our Shepherd.

Why are the paths expressed in Psalm 23:3 called “paths of righteousness” or “right paths”?

‘First, they are the right paths because they lead to the right destination–the Shepherd’s home. Second, they are the right paths because they keep us in harmony with the right person–The Shepherd Himself. Third, they are the right paths because they train us to be the right people. Fourth, they are the right paths because they gives us the right witness–as we become the right people.’

What does “the shadow of death” represent?

‘ “The shadow of death” is an image for “very deep shadow”, or “deep darkness” which can figuratively refer to hard times in someone’s life.

How did the Sheep end up in the valley of the shadow of death?

As Psalm 23:3 puts it, the sheep walks through the paths of righteousness that may include the valley of the shadow of death. The Psalmist also says that even though we are in that valley God our Shepherd is with us, this means that God led us through that way for reasons, because by going through the valley of the shadow of death we can reach the destination, which is good.

How does Psalm 23:5 teach us to deal with enemies?

Psalm 23:5 teaches us how to deal with enemies by instead looking at what God is doing on our behalf and not the enemies.

What other lesson does Psalm 23:5 teach us?

We are surrounded by great enemies, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces, yet when we are with the Shepherd, not one enemy, visible or invisible, can steal what He has provided for us.

How should we address situations that leaves us with questions as Christians?

As David showed in Psalm 23:6, the best way to address these concerns is not often through a theological approach of what God can do rather through an affirmation, the sharing of a personal conviction about the truth about our God. God’s goodness and mercies will always follow (pursue) even amidst the trials and temptations that we are going through.

In Conclusion,

God creates the path for righteousness, He does not just stop in creating the path for us, He leads us in the path and even though in the paths we may have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we have no reason to fear because He is with us. God is our Great Shepherd and He will always protect us from the enemies,  and lead us into life, even so, do unto us Lord Jesus, Amen.

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