Trusting the Shepherd: Insights from Psalm 23

Book Review
  • Approximate Time Commitment: 10 minutes

TRUSTING THE SHEPHERD: Insights from Psalm 23 by Haddon W. Robinson focuses on Psalm 23. This book review was written by Hank Griffith of South Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. This book is good for anyone, but people who are going though deep waters could really benefit.

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Resource Description

Full Review:

The back cover of Trusting the Shepherd: Insights from Psalm 23 provides an accurate description of this short book: “Countless generations – including ours – have turned to Psalm 23 for comfort during times of trouble. Its brief six verses offer words of compassion, hope, and encouragement that never wear out. ‘Though this little psalm was written in a different time and place,’ says Robinson, ‘its lessons are as up to-date as the 21st century.’

“These ancient words, with their imagery drawn from the life and heart of David, the shepherd-king, offer incomparable hope in a complex world.

“‘Trusting the Shepherd may seem easy,’ says Robinson, as he ponders this well-loved psalm. ‘But anyone who tries it finds that life makes it hard to do.’ David, who himself lived life-to-the-hilt, offers his own resounding testimony about the trustworthiness of his Shepherd. The Lord of Psalm 23 is the only one who can walk us safely through this world and into eternity. Only when we place our faith and trust in Him can we sing with David, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.’ And it is then that we can affirm with conviction, based on God’s promise, ‘I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’”

The author, Dr. Haddon W. Robinson, who has preached the Word of God for decades, is currently Professor of Preaching and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

In Trusting the Shepherd Robinson has given us a simple, yet profound exposition of almost everyone’s favorite chapter in the Bible. His depth of insight, clarity of expression, understanding of Semitic culture, and deep walk with God make this book well worth reading for any Christian, especially one who is going through deep waters. However, it also could be given to a person who cannot yet truthfully call the LORD his Shepherd. Though not primarily written to be used for evangelism, it has the gospel skillfully and naturally woven in throughout its 120 pages.

In closing, to whet your appetite to read Trusting the Shepherd, here’s a quote from pages 28-29:

“David tells us that if the Lord is your Shepherd, every area and activity of your life is under His direction, protection, and control. Should a Christian complain? Complaining has become a talent in modern life; we shrug it off by saying that it’s a safety valve that lets off the pressure of pent-up resentment and frustration. But is that the mark of one of Christ’s flock? When we complain, we are really saying that we do not have what we want, we do not like our situation, and the whole arrangement is not quite fair. Yet the psalmist, who knew his share of frustration, wrote, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.’ We may quote the first half of this sentence, but often when it comes to trusting our Shepherd and His sufficiency in all our ‘wants’ and ‘needs,’ we fail miserably. We may act patient and kind, but inside we are fuming with anger and discontent.

“David, though, believed that the Lord really was his Shepherd. He believed that the Lord planned his life down to the very details of his day, much as a good shepherd does for his flock. When we believe that what we don’t like may be part of what He has planned for us today, we can begin to accept His will with joy, knowing that He would not lead us into a difficult circumstance merely to hurt us or desert us. Our Shepherd has our best interests at heart. With that assurance, we can accept any personal slights, unpleasant tasks, or frustrations and still be at peace.”




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