LESSON 16: "The Good Shepherd"

David the Shepherd King, from Psalm 51, 2 Samuel 7; paraphrase of Psalm 23

Big Idea for Parents
The 23rd Psalm, one of the most quoted sections of scripture, is a statement of what we receive through our loving and gracious God.  “The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.”  We have peace, knowing that our every need and care is attended to by Him.  “He leads me beside still waters;  He restores my soul.”  By God’s grace, and through His Son’s death and resurrection, our souls are restored – back to their original sinless condition.  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”  No matter what the outside world does or thinks of us or what schemes the devil devises against us, our God is bigger.  “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  You have an inheritance - an inheritance of life eternally with Him, and of all the things He died for on the Cross.

It is no wonder that, as David pondered the gifts God promised to Him, He couldn’t help but sing praises to the Giver of those good gifts!  As you read today’s devotion with your child, may you also be filled with joy and thanksgiving – to the point of singing! – as you consider what your Good Shepherd has done for you!    

Devotion
Have you ever taken care of a pet before?  If you have, you know that there are LOTS of things to do!  Some of those things are fun – like playing with it and taking it for walks – but other things are not so fun – like cleaning up after it!  Pets are not always obedient, and they certainly cannot take care of themselves! 

In today’s story, David is so happy about all of the things God has done for him (remember when He helped David fight Goliath??) that, instead of saying his prayers, he sings them!  Read pgs. 130-135 and listen carefully to the words of David’s special song.  In it, he says that God is a shepherd and we are His sheep.  Even though, just like animals, we cannot take care of ourselves and are often disobedient, God continues to take care of us.  He cleans up the messes of our bad choices and fills us with his joy!   

Questions

  • Even though David was chosen by God to be the king, he was still a man who made mistakes.  When David made bad choices, what did he ask God for in his prayers? Forgiveness.  What is something for which you need forgiveness?
  • God forgave David for the mistakes he made – and he forgives you, too!  How does it make you feel to know that God always loves you, no matter what?
  • What was your favorite part of David’s special prayer song to God?
  • When David was writing his special songs to God, God was getting ready to send our Good Shepherd to us.  Who was it?  And what did he do to show us, his “sheep,” just how much he loved us?        

Prayer
Dear Jesus,
You are our Good Shepherd, and, in you, we have everything we need.  Thank you for protecting me, caring for me, and loving me.  Thank you for being with me when I am scared and for filling my heart with happiness.  I am excited to live with you forever in the place you are preparing for me!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.