Character Day 10 A God Of Peace: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, A God Of Peace!

Psalm 23 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have what I need.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He renews my life;
he leads me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
as long as I live.

The Questions

1) How does God being “my shepherd” offer peace?

2) What is the role of the sheep in experiencing God’s peace?

3) How do we know if we are living a life marked by God’s peace?

The Findings for Intention

1) How does God being “my shepherd” offer peace?
David penned this beautiful, powerful psalm, and though we are not privy to the exact circumstance under which that happened,  David brings his relationship with God to life with images from his early years.  When David is first introduced in 1 Samuel 16, we learn that he was a shepherd, the youngest of his brothers, who spent day after day with his flocks in the fields, playing his lyre.  Many of his later writings and songs reflect the lessons learned during that time of his life.  David’s familiarity with the role of a shepherd helped to inform his understanding of how God related to him in the same way:  by providing all he needed (v.1); leading him to beauty, rest, quiet, and right paths (v.2-3); and giving his presence as a source of comfort (v.4).  David knew God’s peace through His shepherding heart and love.

2) What is the role of the sheep in experiencing God’s peace?
Not only does David have a clear perspective on the heart of a shepherd, but he also understands what it means to be a sheep.  He knew that every action taken by a shepherd results in a reaction from his sheep.  The Shepherd provides, the sheep experiences contentment.  The Shepherd directs to green pastures, the sheep stops to rest.  The Shepherd finds quiet waters, the sheep drinks in refreshment.  The Shepherd leads to right paths, the sheep follows into safety.  The Shepherd offers his presence, the sheep remain close and feel secure.  The Shepherd corrects and redirects with his staff, the sheep respond and return to the flock.  David’s understanding of the delicate and dependent relationship between shepherd and sheep gave him insight and a depth of understanding into his personal relationship with the Father.

3)How do we know if we are living a life marked by God’s peace?
David was all too familiar with difficult circumstances.  King Saul’s jealousy drove him to try and take David’s life, forcing David to live in hiding and fear for his life (beginning in 1 Samuel 19).  Absalom, David’s son, revolted against his father and plotted to take the throne for himself (beginning in 2 Samuel 15) and David ended up defeating his own son in battle.  Despite those circumstances (any many more), David knew with confidence that his enemy would not win.  As a faithful sheep guided by His Shepherd, David viewed his cup as overflowing (v.5).  Although pursued by a physical, present enemy, David acknowledged that goodness and faithful love were greater (v.6).  He never lost sight of the fact that dwelling with the Lord was to be desired beyond anything else (v.6).  David was able to experience true peace in the midst of great chaos.

The Everyday Application

1) How does God being “my shepherd” offer peace?
Do you know the Lord as your Shepherd?  Do you know his voice (John 10:1-13)?  Just like He did for David, God offers us His peace and rest.  He wants us to be reliant, to abide in Him, and to know security.  How many of us are too determined to be our own shepherd that we miss what He offers to us?  Or maybe you struggle like I did…you can see Him as the King who rules and upholds justice, but then struggle to know the tender, loving side of His heart.  Friend, our God is BOTH.  Our Shepherd KingTake a few moments to reflect on how God has recently offered you peace by showing Himself to be your Shepherd…. In what ways has He taken care of your needs?  Where has He led you to beauty?  From what has He given you rest?  How has he provided you with quiet in your soul?  What right paths is He asking you to take?  How has He made is presence known?  Thank Him for whatever He brings to mind.  

2) What is the role of the sheep in experiencing God’s peace?
A shepherd leads.  Sheep follow.  We live in a culture that doesn’t value followership.  Or sheep for that matter.  Instead, our world pushes busyness and self-reliance.  We applaud those who can take care of themselves and never slow down.  We celebrate those who blaze their own paths and make their own way.  Yet we have a God who offers us peace as sheep who willingly follow.  Don’t miss this important distinction – having a Shepherd who offers peace does not guarantee we will experience that same peace.  To know the reality of God’s peace, we must be willing to take on the role of a sheep, a follower, responding to His voice and the directions He gives (John 10:4).  Listen.  Respond.  Repeat.  It’s a beautiful dance with motions and fluidity unlike any of the flurry of activity we see in our world today.  Stop and rest.  Take a drink from the cool, quiet water.  Listen for His voice and then respond in kind.  It’s simple, yet so challenging.  Take time to assess your own attitudes and heart toward being one of God’s sheep; are you experiencing God’s peace in your life as you follow Him, or are you trying to go your own way?

3)How do we know if we are living a life marked by God’s peace?
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:3).  If we are living as sheep who are committed to following their shepherd, our life will bear certain marks.  Our cup should overflow (v.5). We should be filled by God so that what comes out to those around us cannot help but spill over.  God’s peace should be what others see bubble over in us, rather than panic, anxious worry, or fear.   Our peace should be consistent, no matter the circumstances we may be facing (v.6).  God’s peace gives  us a measure of steadiness as we trust and rest in Him, even in the most difficult moments.  Our peace should result from time spent dwelling with God (v.6).  Linger.  Stay longer.  This is how we reach overflowing.  God desires that time with you, and you desperately need it.  As Psalm 84:10 says, “Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else…”  Does your life currently bear the markers of a life impacted by the peace of God?  If so, what evidence do you see?  If not, what needs to change?

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, A God Of Peace!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Character Week Two!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Character!