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Bible Study: April 8, 2018

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.

Bible Passage: Psalm 23

Discussion Question: When has a guide made an experience more memorable?

Food for Thought by Ken Hemphill

Maps are good to direct you from one place to another, but you need to study them before leaving on a trip. If you don’t know the route well, you will need to stop periodically and double-check the map. GPS is better, but you still have to pay attention. You must glance continually at the screen to get a visual on how soon a turn is coming or listen intently to the verbal instructions.

The best way to travel is with someone who knows the route well.

A guide can anticipate things and remind you to “get in the left lane” or “be prepared for a sharp turn.” Guides often know shortcuts that the GPS is not clever enough to know. A guide can also provide “color commentary” as you travel, telling you interesting tidbits about places along the route.

Let’s admit, we all need a guide to get through life. Even when we think we have things figured out, life inserts a roadblock and the journey changes. But God does for us just as a shepherd does for his flock. God is our Good Shepherd who guides us on the right path and in the right direction.

David very well may have written Psalm 23 during the latter years of his reign as Israel’s king. It clearly has the ring of personal experience. It testifies to a faith tested by trials and a life mellowed and matured by the passing of years.

David had experienced conflict — both internal and external. David had experienced sin and the deep sorrow of its consequences; he knew the pain of one son’s death and the rebellion of another who tried to take his kingdom. Yet this psalm affirms that through it all, David knew God as his tender Shepherd.

Of course, the best picture we have of God as Shepherd is Jesus.

Jesus used the image of “the good shepherd” in John 10 to describe His own ministry. And the Book of Revelation offers one final picture of Jesus, our Good Shepherd: “For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; he will guide them to springs of the waters of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

The Good Shepherd is the Lamb of God who lays down His life for His sheep, and the Lamb of God who is eternally our Good Shepherd.

Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students, and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.

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