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Many do not often realize that Psalm 23, being a very special chapter of the Bible, holds so much mystery that can unlock the safe that would reveal the fulfillment of the abundance of desires. It should not be confused for a piece of poetry meant for recitation like nursery rhymes. The author, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, digs deep into the revelatory understanding of Psalm 23, vis-Ă -vis the true character of the Shepherd, and what she brings out in this book, would set you on a new realm of spiritual knowledge never before now understood by Christians of different races, cultures, ages, etcetera.

REV. (MRS.) JANET ONAOLAPO, is the General Overseer of Abundant Life Gospel Churches, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D in Christian Theology from the International Miracle Institute, Pensacola Florida, USA. This is her 14th book. And all her books are soul-inspiring, and revelatory.

Unveiling the

Mysteries Psalm 23 Janet Onaolapo, Ph.D


Unveiling the

Mysteries Psalm 23 Janet Onaolapo, Ph.D


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Copyright

Contents

2020 by Janet Onaolapo, PhD. All rights reserved.

No parts may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including, Photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without a permission in writing from the Publishers. Printed and published in Nigeria for Abundant Life Publications, Lagos, by:

services

iv

Dedication Introduction

5

Chapter One A Shepherd's Daily Routine

8

Chapter Two The Benefits Of Having God As Your Shepherd

15

Chapter Three What do You Do When You Cannot See Him?

66

Conclusion

71

ÂŽ

29, Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba, Lagos, Nigeria. Tel: +234080132581566,+23408028268974 Email: syntaxeditors@gmail.com

Cover page and book design by: Charles Ideho

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Introduction Dedicated to those who are longing for genuine care, love and affection. Be assured that as you read this book, you will find them.

T

o believers Psalm 23 is a very special chapter of the Bible. Time after time, Christians of different

races, cultures, ages, etcetera, have memorized it. Children recite it and almost anyone who comes across it just easily absorbs every verse of it. Today, the Lord desires that you go from just having mere knowledge of Psalm 23, to viewing it with a deep revelation. As you read

this

Psalm

with

a

revelatory

understanding that the Lord is truly your Shepherd, you will honour His presence in iv

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

your life, appreciate the truth that He plays

understanding of the shepherd's role, his

a very dominant role as your Shepherd and,

daily routine will be mentioned as you read

and enjoy all the benefits, which His

on.

presence offers. WHO IS A SHEPHERD? In Hebrew, a shepherd is someone who tends to his flock of sheep in three ways: Taking care of the daily needs of the sheep. Ensuring adequate security for them Nursing them to good health. A shepherd never leaves his sheep unattended. He is always with them ensuring that they are fed, protected from harm and guided accordingly. For a clearer 6

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Janet Onaolapo

to graze in a field where he watched over

Chapter One A Shepherd's Daily Routine

them. Sometimes, shepherds do this with the assistance of their dogs so that if at any time, some sheep strayed while grazing, the dogs would help to trail them until they are found. So, the sheep

1. A shepherd takes care of the basic daily needs of the sheep. Every morning, he

has nothing to fear or be worried about as far as feeding is concerned.

gathers his sheep by calling them out of their pen.

2. He provides water for them by taking them to either running water or a pool.

During one of my tours to Israel, I went

He then allows them to drink to their

to a place in Nazareth village where local

satisfaction before leading them back to

shepherds tend to their sheep. I was

their pen to rest. He takes them back to

fascinated by the way the sheep heard,

drink water again in the evening and

responded to the voice of their shepherd

makes sure that none is missing even as

and followed him. After the shepherd

he leads them back to their pen for the

called them out of their pen, he led them

night. At night, he would guard the

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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entrance of the sheep's pen to protect

God is as a Shepherd that I couldn't help

them from predators, wild animals and

but share this message. You need to see

intruders.

God deeply as your Shepherd because it is what you see in your spirit man that can

The Lord is telling you today that He is your

affect your life physically. The Bible says

Shepherd. One beautiful thing about this is

that the truth you know shall set you free. If

that, you did not appoint Him but He just

you are ignorant of this truth; that the Lord

chose to be your Shepherd. God may not be

is your Shepherd, you will not benefit from

a Shepherd to the whole world but He is

His works. But when you have the

strictly

He

revelation of this truth in your spirit man,

personally assigned Himself to you because

you will feel confident and safe in His arms.

“your�

own

Shepherd.

He loves you and knows that you need Him When I got a deep revelation of Psalm 23,

in your life.

the truth of all its content clicked in my When the Lord gave me this message, I

spirit and it was like I have never come

began to meditate and pray on it. My heart

across this passage of the Bible before. Now

became

the

my disposition to life is very different. God

understanding of how great and awesome

may not be a Shepherd to everyone but He

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11

so

enlarged

with


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

is my Shepherd and as I declare it, He acts

contrary to your personality and His plan

for me.

for your life has been nailed to the cross. You have to move from the level of just

In the book of John 10:11, Jesus Christ

having knowledge to having a revelation of

spoke about Himself as the good Shepherd.

the understanding of God's work as your

He said: “I am the good shepherd: the

Shepherd. If you operate with this

good shepherd gives his life for the

revelatory understanding, your life will

sheep.” In verse 14, He went ahead to

never be the same again. You will live a

explain that He knew His sheep, His sheep

better and more fulfilled life.

knew Him and heard His voice. God knows you and has chosen to be your Shepherd.

As we go further, you will know what you

That was why Jesus laid down His life for

stand to gain as a sheep that has God as his

you on the cross of Calvary.

Shepherd.

As

earlier

mentioned,

a

shepherd naturally looks after, watches When Christ was dying on the cross, He

over and cares for his sheep. These are the

had you in mind and put you in His agenda.

things a shepherd naturally does for his

When He said: “It is finished”, He meant

sheep but you will enjoy much more

that as far as you are concerned, everything

benefits when the Lord is your Shepherd.

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

David who was a shepherd before he was made king itemized the benefits because he understood the role of a shepherd to his sheep. That was why he wrote Psalm 23 to explain the roles which God play as a

Chapter Two The Benefits Of Having God As Your Shepherd

Shepherd and emphasized on what he and other sheep stand to gain from Him.

When the Lord is your Shepherd:

1. YOU SHALL NOT WANT – PSALM 23:1 You shall not lack anything neither will you be deficient in any area. He will ensure that all your needs are met. Does that sound impossible? If it does, then it means you do not believe it. When you believe it, it will be so for you. The Bible says that all things are possible to them that believe. –Mark 9:23. 14

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Let me illustrate what I mean by “When you

account had been credited with some

believe, it will be so for you”. After the Lord

money. It was like a dream but as I cleared

had given me a deep revelation of Psalm

my eyes to find out how much, I realized

23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall

that the money sent to me was thrice the

not want,” I had a challenge to meet up

amount I actually needed. So, I transferred

with a particular financial obligation and

the

was stuck because I didn't have the money

amount

I

needed

to

transfer

immediately.

at the time. So, on the date it was due for me to transfer the money, I didn't know what to

That was how the Lord, my Shepherd made

do. I believed very strongly that my good

a way for me and saved me from the

Shepherd

aid.

embarrassment of not meeting up with that

Determined that I would not panic, I

financial obligation. That is how God works

decided to praise God for what He would do.

when you believe Him without fear. You will

So, I began to sing in my bedroom.

not lack anything you trust Him for

would

come

to

my

because He can and will do it. I was almost fifteen minutes into praising God when I heard an alert on my cell phone.

I stumbled on a post on Facebook one day

I checked it and discovered that my bank

and was amazed at the story of a woman

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who has forty-two biological children. The

do not have a womb or there is a medical report about your inability to bear children. If you are in any of these conditions, declare to yourself that you will not be deficient in childbearing. You will not want anything good because the Lord, your Shepherd will make a way for you where there is no way.

information gathered from her was that she was delivered of five sets of twins, four sets of triplets and five sets of quadruplets. The irony of this story is that the woman is not well to do to take care of the children; she is a poor woman. Though it was medically revealed that she had a very rare genetic condition, I was dazed.

There is something unique about this particular benefit. It says: “The Lord is my

As I read the story, I asked:“Lord, what is

shepherd; I shall not want.” The clause

the meaning of this? How can one woman

“I shall not want” is both a declaration

bear all these children?”And the Lord said

and a decision.

to me, “Daughter, I do amazing things some times to prove to the world that nothing is

As a declaration, it means that because

impossible with me.”

all your needs are supplied by the Lord, you will not be in any state of lack.

You may be out there thinking that you cannot have children because you probably 18

As a decision, it means that you chose to 19


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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desire only what the Lord your

fraud or looking for help everywhere,

Shepherd can give you and nothing else.

that means you want to get more than what God can give you which indicates

My spiritual father will always say that

that you have not acknowledged Him as

you do not need what the Lord does not

your Shepherd.

give you. So, as you decide and declare that the Lord is your Shepherd, you

If you decide that God Almighty is your

shall not want. Make up your mind that

Shepherd, then you have made up your

whatever the Lord does not give you,

mind that He is the only one who can

you will not go through fraudulent

and will give you what you want

means to have it. Don't go about

righteously

scamming people just because you

shortcuts. The Bible says that God

want to make it at all cost in life. Don't

hates unjust (false) balances –Prov.

start going from one witch doctor or

11:1a. If you are for God, then you must

herbalist to another because you want to have your problems solved by all means. If you are still in the business of 20

without

falsehood

or

be for Him only. That is when He will be challenged to grant you your heart's desire. 21


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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2. HE WILL MAKE YOU TO LIE DOWN IN

God leads His sheep to still waters. Still

GREEN PASTURES AND LEAD YOU

waters means a state of calmness,

BESIDE THE STILL WATERS – PSALM

peace and rest.

23:2 This means that the Lord will make adequate provision of food for you. When the Lord sent an angel to feed Elijah, He gave him something to drink after giving him food. This is because He knew that drinks usually accompany

God will give you something that will not trouble you. He blesses His sheep to make it happy. That is how He is. If you don't know this, you cannot enjoy Him. A lot of times, we believe the lies of the devil and become carried away by the negative things we see, feel and hear.

food. He knows how to treat His sheep

Then we tend to gravitate towards them.

well. God ensured that Elijah ate food

If you are moved by such things, then it

and drank water which indicates His

means you do not believe in God.

concern as a Shepherd. He made Elijah lie down in green pastures. The act of lying down keeps one in a comfortable position. In that position, there is usually no agitation. 22

If you believe the word of God that says the Lord will make you lie down in green pastures and lead you beside still waters (waters that will satisfy your 23


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

soul), it will be so for you. The Bible says: “The blessings of God makes rich and adds no sorrow.” - Proverbs 12:22. Anything that will keep you struggling and running from one place to another to get help is not of God. God has already admonished us in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Janet Onaolapo

God can bless you to make you happy and comfortable so that you will not experience any form of sorrow. You do not need to travel by road through the desert from Nigeria to other countries simply because you are looking for greener pastures. A sister once shared her testimony of how she travelled by road trying to leave

Working to earn a living is normal, but

Nigeria for Libya. She suffered a great

labouring without rest isn't. God does

deal going through the desert and when

not want His sheep to labour without

many people who were on the same trip

rest. There is a difference between

died, they were thrown into the desert.

“work” and “labour” The Bible says that God will prosper the work of your hands - Psalm 1:3c. Therefore, “Labour not to be rich.”- Proverbs 23:4a. 24

She went through a lot of risk and pressure because she was desperate to get greener pastures outside Nigeria. When she finally got to Libya, she 25


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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realized that she had run from frying

Since it is not by your power that you

pan to fire.

wake up every morning or each time you sleep, know that God has great plans for

God is telling you that He is your

you. He wakes you up and will hear your

Shepherd. You need to believe these

heart's cry because all things are

words because He is all you need to lead

possible with Him - Psalm 34:9-10. God

an enjoyable and satisfactory life. With

knows how to deal with everyone

Him in your life, you do not need to

according to their peculiar cases. Just

make critical decisions to make it by all

as a shepherd carries his sheep in his

means. No sheep wakes up in the

bosom and gently leads the ones with

morning to worry about how it would go

young- Isaiah 40:11,the Lord will

about the day or find green pastures. It

tenderly care for you, lead you through

is the shepherd that wakes it up and

life unto His perfect will.

takes it to where he has already mapped out for it. If you believe the word of God

3. HE WILL RESTORE YOUR SOUL AND

that says the Lord is your Shepherd,

LEAD

YOU

IN

THE

then you can enjoy these benefits.

RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE – PSALM 23:3

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

To 'Restore' means to bring back to the

told Peter in Luke 22:31 that the devil

former state. Without doubt, a sheep

was going to make him stray. He

can stray and when it does, it is the

understood that if Peter went astray, it

responsibility of the shepherd to bring it

would only be by the activity of the devil

back to its former state. Just as the

so, he prayed for him to shield him from

Bible says in Luke 15:3-7 that if a

straying. After praying for him, He

shepherd who has a hundred sheep

confidently told him that when he was

loses one, he would keep the remaining

restored, he should strengthen the

ninety-nine in a safe place and go in

other brethren.

search of the one lost, God does the same thing when you stray. So, as your Shepherd, the Lord Restores your soul. Are you backsliding or going down in your spiritual life? If you are, you need to cry out to the Lord for a restoration and He will restore you to His fold. Jesus 28

If you have backslidden, please don't die in that backslidden state. Don't say you have gone too far to be restored. The Bible assures us that though our sins may be as red as scarlet, they can be made as white as snow if the Shepherd steps in to restore us whenever we stray. The Lord can restore your soul and guide you in the right path so that you 29


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

will neither stumble, fail, stray again nor be in confusion. In Proverbs 3:5-6, the Bible tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not lean on our understanding. A sheep does not need to figure out where green pastures would come from. All it needs to do is to acknowledge the presence of the shepherd because it is the shepherd's responsibility to make it available.

Janet Onaolapo

situations at any given point in time. All we need to do at challenging times is to totally depend on Him as our Shepherd so that He will lead us on the path of righteousness not for any other reason but for His name's sake. As your Shepherd, God is saying that He is personally involved in your case and cannot ridicule Himself. He knows that His name is at stake so, He will just

In the midst of all the terrible things

have to make things right.

happening in the world today, causing businesses to fold up, unemployment to

Sometime

be on the rise, loss of lives and

someone to do something in a particular

properties, etc., we need to put our faith

place where I was well known and told

in the Lord. God does not avoid crisis

her to portray me well by putting up the

but is equal to the task of handling

best behaviour. I also made sure that I

30

ago,

31

I

recommended


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

put her through some basic interactive

do so, He will be faithful to prove

skills because my name would be at

Himself to you by looking after you,

stake if she behaved otherwise.

watching over you and taking care of you.

If I, as mere human can work hard enough to maintain my integrity, what

You will not have any reason to be

do you think God will do? He won't just

agitated when God begins to lead you.

fold His hands and watch things go

As He leads, just follow Him. If a

sideways for His sheep. He will act to

shepherd tells his sheep to go one way

defend His name in your life because He

and the sheep goes another way, he will

is a responsible Shepherd. If after

not be blamed for whatever happens to

reading this book you probably forget

the sheep. So, you must learn to graze

everything, don't ever forget that the

where the Lord your Shepherd leads

Lord is your Shepherd. He may not be a

you. Follow the Lord's directives and

Shepherd to others but He is to you and

listen to what He is saying. It is in

you owe Him your trust. Allow the word

following His instructions that things

of God to mix with your faith and take

will fall in place for you. But if you do

over your heart – Hebrews 4:2. As you

otherwise, the Shepherd would have no

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choice but to back out and you will be

sickness, etc. are evils that threaten

left alone. May that not be your portion!

life's bliss, death is the greatest evil

May the Lord not abandon you!

because it is an inevitable terminator of life.

4. THOUGH YOU WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY

OF

THE

SHADOW

OF

DEATH, YOU SHALL FEAR NO EVIL – PSALM 23:4A To 'Walk' means to steadily advance on a particular road having an end in view. When you walk, you already have where you are going in mind so, you are not

When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God will be with you.

His

presence

will

be

so

overwhelming around you that you will be emboldened. As you believe that He is with you, you will practically feel His presence and every form of fear hovering around you will disappear.

walking aimlessly because you are going somewhere. Walking in the valley of the shadow of death is going through a tough situation that may end in death. The greatest evil of mankind is death. Though poverty, bankruptcy, 34

To further emphasize the clause walking through the valley of the shadow of death, you need to understand the truth that when the devil comes to you with death or any

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

evil, the light of God's glory present with you will shine on it. It will be reduced to an ordinary shadow. No shadow is harmful because there is no power in it. The shadow of a lion or a sword cannot devour or kill you but it can only send a message across; that there is a lion or a sword nearby (an impending danger). What has power is the object itself and not the shadow that the light of God with you has reduced it into. Therefore, as a sheep that has a Shepherd, when you walk through a path that is likely to end in death, you must never be afraid. The Lord your good Shepherd is with you. Remember, you have to walk “through” and not sit or stay inside the valley of the shadow of death. As you walk through, the good Shepherd will walk with you and ensure that you get to the end of the road. 36

Janet Onaolapo

Fear is a terrible thing which only the presence of a good shepherd can overcome. Hebrews 2:14 makes it clear that Jesus Christ, through His death, has taken authority from the devil and has overcome death. It went further to say in verse 15 that Jesus came to deliver you from the bondage of fear. Are you experiencing death in any area of your life? Is your business, career, marriage, finance, health or relationship going under to the point of being tagged 'dead'? The Lord your Shepherd is saying “Fear not!” The Shepherd is with you and watching over you. He has taken care of every shadow of death hovering around your life so, you don't have any reason to be afraid. David understood this truth and 37


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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said in Psalm 139:10-11, “Even there

'death' had been reduced to a mere

shall thy hand lead me, and thy right

shadow. However, when they later

hand shall hold me. If I say, surely

understood that what they were afraid

the darkness shall cover me; even the

of had no power to harm them, they

night shall be light about me.”

acknowledged and reverenced the Lord for His presence. An illustration of this

From this text, you can see that as a child of God, whenever you think you are in the middle of darkness, the light of

God

which

shines

on

you

overshadows it. You carry the light of God and as far as He is concerned, there is no darkness with you as His sheep. There are people in the Bible who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and were afraid because they didn't understand such 38

can be seen in the story of Elisha and his servant Gehazi – II Kings 6:15. The servant was afraid that a host of the enemies'

horses

and

chariots

surrounded the city but when God opened his eyes after Elisha had prayed, he saw that the host with them was more than the ones against them. He realized that what he was previously seeing was just a shadow and fear disappeared.

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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Rise up in your spirit man today and

sustain an injury. There are times you

rebuke the spirit of fear because the

may go through difficult situations in

Lord is with you even in the valley of

life that you may not be able to deal

the shadow of death.

with. At such times, the word of God and the Holy Spirit come in to guide

5. HE WILL BE WITH YOU; HIS ROD AND

you. God has given us adequate

STAFF WILL COMFORT YOU – PSALM

provision because He is a good

23:4B

Shepherd. You can always rely on His

The 'Rod' is the Word of God while the

word and lean on the Holy Spirit to lead

'Staff' is the Holy Spirit. The Word of God

you by telling you what to do when

serves as a lamp to our feet and a light to

times are tough.

our path; leading us in all our ways. A staff is something one leans on for

I used to be a very bold person until

support just as the Holy Spirit is the one

several years ago when I experienced a

we lean on for comfort in time of

terrible armed robbery attack in our

challenges. The rod and staff work together to bring you comfort when you walk through any dangerous path and 40

house. It was a very traumatic night for my husband and me but God saw us through. After the attack, I became 41


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

afflicted with the spirit of fear.

Holy Spirit. He ministered to my spirit

Whenever it was getting dark every

man and the words “Return to your

evening, I would become so afraid that

rest…” went from just being a Bible

at the slightest sound of anything I

verse to a revelation which saturated my

would feel that the robbers have come

entire being. Immediately, the spirit of

again. For two weeks, I could not regain

fear left me and I became my bold self

myself. Fear took over my entire being

again. From that time to date, fear has

and I was tormented. I became very pale

never known my habitation.

and lost a lot of weight. One day, I told myself that I would not be bound by fear

Anytime fear comes your way, always

anymore so, I prayed: “Lord, have mercy

remember that you are a sheep with a

on me and deliver me from this spirit of

Shepherd who watches over you. He will

fear”. I prayed like I had never prayed

direct your path and the Holy Spirit will

before and the word of the Lord came to

comfort you.

me saying: “Return to your rest…” Psalm 116:7. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to go back to being myself again. I aligned my faith with the word of God and released myself completely to the 42

Genesis 28 tells us of how Jacob had to run away from his father's house without having any plan in mind. On the way to where he was going, it became

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

dark and because he was very tired, he had to sleep under the open heaven (in the bush). He used a stone as his pillow and slept. Right there in his sleep, the word of God came to him saying: “…the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed.” – Gen. 28:13c. Can you see the kind of comfort the word of God brought to Jacob? The Lord went further to tell him in verse 15, “And Behold I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again unto this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken…” When Jacob woke up, he expressed his amazement at the fact that the Lord had 44

Janet Onaolapo

been with him all the while, yet he didn't know. May God speak to you the same way He spoke to Jacob in his dream so that you will understand that He is very much with you both in good and bad times. You need the rod and staff of God so that you can always feel His presence around you. Can you imagine how Jacob felt when he discovered that God was with him and had been with him all the while he was troubled? He thought his end had come because he was at the valley of the shadow of death until the rod and staff suddenly showed up to comfort him. If you are conversant with this story, you will realize that everything God 45


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

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promised Jacob came to pass. The Lord

ensure that your table is set and well

was with him all through his journey,

laid with golden or silvery cutleries,

prospered him, protected him and

expensive plates of exotic styles with all

brought him back to the same land

manner of meals and drinks both local

which he ran away from.

and

continental.

With

the

table

prepared, you will sit comfortably to Sometimes, the word of God may

enjoy your meals without disturbance.

chastise, correct, rebuke or encourage you. Whatever it does, it is for your good

This table will be prepared for you

and comfort. If you can open up your

irrespective of the enemy's presence.

heart to receive it, you will be led to the

The enemy may be at the door yet God

path of righteousness for His name's

will prepare your table because He

sake.

wants you to know that when He steps into your matter, the enemy's decree

6. HE WILL PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE YOU IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR

over your life can no longer stand. If God is for you, nobody can be against you.

ENEMIES – PSALM 23:5A As your Shepherd, God will prepare a table for you. Like a buffet, He will 46

That was what God did for Job. He set a table before him in the presence of 47


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

his enemies - Job 1:1-10. Job was a very wealthy man; blessed by God above many in his time. When God boasted about his uprightness to Satan, Satan told Him: “Why won't he be upright when you have prepared a table for him? You are standing by him and watching over him and all that he has. There is nothing I can do.” Satan admitted that in as much as he would want to afflict job, he couldn't because God had built a hedge of protection around him, his house, children and properties. Jabez prayed in the book of I Chronicles 4:10 asking the Lord to change his name, bless him and keep him from evil: “…Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, that 48

Janet Onaolapo

thy hand might be with me and that thou wouldest keep me from evil…” Jabez's life was so sorrowful that nothing seemed to work for him. But when he called upon the Lord and asked Him to be his Shepherd shielding him from evil, God blessed him. He granted all his requests and transformed his life. God is not a respecter of persons. One major role He plays as your Shepherd is to keep your enemies far from you by protecting you so that you can enjoy all His blessings. A lot of people are reluctant to enjoy what God has blessed them with because they are afraid of their enemies. As a child of God, you 49


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

should never be found in this position. Enjoy whatever God blesses you with because He prepared that table for you and no enemy can touch you or even stop you from making further progress. The Bible tells us in I King 5:4 that God blessed Solomon and gave him rest on every side. After the exceeding blessing

faithful to take care of you by ensuring that you enjoy every blessing He gives you. 7. HE WILL ANOINT YOUR HEAD WITH OIL –PSALM 23:5B 'Oil' in the Bible signifies a lot of things. Having the Lord as your Shepherd,

of the Lord came upon him, no

guarantees your possession of two types

adversary dared to touch him or come

of oil; the oil of gladness and the oil of

near his dwelling.

healing. While the oil of gladness is to make you rejoice at all times (both in

God won't bless you and leave you at the

good and bad times), the oil of healing is

mercy of the devil but will keep every

to make you healthy and whole at all

enemy and evil far from you. Stop

times.

fretting and don't be afraid to enjoy the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

You

are

not

serving

an

irresponsible Shepherd. He is good and 50

To further explain the oil of gladness, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ was anointed with the oil of gladness above 51


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

His fellow - Hebrews 1:9. As a sheep, the Lord will anoint your head with oil; not with a little but with so much that you will experience an overflow and have more than enough. The overflowing oil will ensure that your joy is not truncated after a short time but will last forever.

worry and sorrow lurking around you and rejoice in the Lord because He is with you. Jesus told His disciples in the book of Mark 6:13 to go and preach the gospel and anoint people with oil; the oil of healing. Verse 13 says, “…they cast

Covid-19 and all the tragic news we hear

out many devils and anointed with

these days is stealing many people's

oil many that were sick and healed

gladness. While many are perplexed,

them.”

others are sorrowful. But your case is different because you have a good Shepherd who will not allow you to be sad. He will anoint your head with the oil of gladness so that in the midst of prevailing circumstances, you will be joyful.

Are

you

sad,

worried

or

sorrowful? Come out of every sadness, 52

James 5:14 says, “Is any sick among you? Let him meet the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” “Elders” in this text represent the good Shepherd Jesus Christ. So, one of the benefits of having the Lord as your Shepherd is divine healing. In Jeremiah 53


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

33:6, God made it clear that He will give us health and cure. As long as the Lord is your Shepherd, healing is your portion. 8. YOUR CUP WILL OVERFLOW – PSALM

during my first trip to Uganda several years ago. In Uganda, it is a culture to treat guests to overflowing meals. I realized that when I was served lunch. I was on a table with just one person and

23:5C

we were served meals that were more

A 'Cup' is a concave vessel (usually

than enough to feed about six people. It

made

transparent

was a lot of meal; an overflow. Our table

material) from which one drinks water

was filled with more than we could eat.

or any other liquid. It can be filled to any

At first, I wondered if we would be joined

level

to

by other guests but I was dazed when I

overflowing. When the Lord anoints

found out that the meal was just for two.

your head with oil, your cup will

When I asked our host why we were

overflow which means that He will fill

served so much, we were told that in

of

and

opaque

can

or

also

be

filled

your cup (bless you) with more than you need (in abundance). An illustration of a cup overflowing (running over) is the experience I had 54

Uganda, after guests finished eating, there must be leftover to show that they were well served but if there are no leftovers, then it means they were not 55


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

well served. So, if human beings can think and act this way, why won't the Lord who is your Shepherd act over your matter? He will definitely do much more for you. Another illustration can be seen from the testimony of a business woman who during the lockdown due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic was sent an unusual sum of money for a service which she would have rendered but hadn't as a result of the lockdown. Her client credited her bank account with the money. The amount sent was much more than the price she had charged her so, she decided to call to find out if a mistake had been made with the money sent. To her amazement, her client told her that the money was a gift to her, to 56

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ease the lockdown. That was a supernatural supply! Only the good Shepherd could have done that. God gave her an overflow! Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God is able to do anything for us exceedingly and abundantly above our requests and thoughts according to His power at work in us. David understood the power of God when he said as God anoints his head with oil, his cup would overflow. Believe that the Lord is your good Shepherd and He will meet your needs beyond your imagination. Some Biblical examples of overflowing blessings from the Lord are: ยง THE MIRACULOUS FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND MEN 57


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

When Jesus wanted to feed the five thousand men, He had just five loaves of bread and two fishes. He prayed over them and there was a multiplication that fed all the five thousand men seated to hear His ministration. After He had fed them, there were twelve baskets of leftover. That was a cup over-flowing/running over. Everyone present had more than enough to eat. As your Shepherd, the Lord can give you more than your expectation. ยง THE FRUITFULNESS OF HANNAH Hannah cried for several years because she was childless. When she went to

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a cup of blessing overflowing/running over? God can and will do the same for you! ยง THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM Abraham waited for twenty-five years before he became a father. He called on the Lord continuously and reminded Him of His promise to make him a father of nations. When the Shepherd eventually visited him, Abraham ended up having eight children at over a hundred years old. Even after Sarah died, Abraham still bore children as the Lord strengthened him to procreate. That was an overflow!

Shiloh and cried, praying like she had never prayed before, the Shepherd visited her. God gave her a son and she also had six more children. Wasn't that 58

Are you crying because you have been looking up to God for a particular blessing and have not had any 59


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

breakthrough? Are you feeling that God is silent and it is becoming unbearably long for your breakthrough to come? Hold on! Don't give up because the good Shepherd will make haste to help you. He will anoint your head with oil by granting you that breakthrough you desire. He will bless you and ensure that your cup overflows (runs over). Believe the word of the Lord today! 9. GOODNESS

AND

MERCY

SHALL

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He could boast about the Lord's capability to bless him because he understood how great God is. When goodness and mercy follow you, you won't have control over it. The reason is that, it will determine how greatly blessed you will be. As it follows you, you won't be able to stop it. When you go right or left, it will follow you and when you go around, it will also go around. If you decide to retreat, it will follow suit. It just follows you because of the Lord's promise to bless you and keep you.

FOLLOW YOU ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE – PSALM 23:6 David was very confident that the Lord his Shepherd would ensure that goodness and mercy followed him all through his lifetime when he said: Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. 60

At the beginning of the year 2020, the Lord told me that 2020 is a year of New Glory. When He said it, I wondered why He didn't just say it is a year of Glory. Why did He have to add New to it? I asked. But He replied that the glory would be New because the old order will become obsolete. 61


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

We are in the era of a new glory. With the

Exodus 34:6 says that God is abundant in

Covid-19 pandemic and all that is

goodness and truth. There is no evil in Him.

happening globally, many things have

Rather than cause you pain, He will give you

become obsolete, closed down and put

“goodness “that will cause your cup

aside. The Lord is doing something new. All you have to do is leverage on it. So, if you can see the new glory, you can have it but if you cannot see it, you cannot have it. This

(blessings) to run over. Psalm 31:19 makes it clear that God can pour so much goodness on you that everyone can't help but notice how blessed you are. God is not just fabricating His goodness for you. He

new glory is something you have never

has already prepared it for people who put

witnessed. It is happening for the first time

their trust in Him. Trust Him today!

in the history of mankind. One of the things that characterize glory is God's goodness. When you see goodness (kindness, goodwill, honour, favour, etc.), you see glory. So, as you believe this, goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life. 62

Jeremiah 31:12 says “…and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat…” This means that the goodness of the Lord shall pursue, catch up with you and you will flow together. Verse 13 further says that as the goodness of the Lord flows, everyone both young and old will experience joy because the Lord will make 63


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

them find comfort from their sorrow. As God's goodness flows, His people will also be satisfied. Psalm 107:9, talks about God's goodness. Goodness is synonymous with “wonderful work” because it is the wonderful work of God that satisfies and fills the longing soul. Verse 8 says, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for his wonderful work…”

Chapter Three What Do You Do When You Cannot See Him?

T

he disciples of Jesus were in jeopardy because of the storm. They expected Jesus to automatically

show up and come to their rescue but He God is still in the business of blessing people by showing them His goodness and mercy. He is God and can take you out of the wilderness. Are you limited in any way? God is breaking that limitation and giving you a miracle. He will deliver you and ensure that His goodness and mercy overshadow you. This is one of the benefits of having Him as your Shepherd. 64

didn't. A lot of times we have similar experience and it seems God is a million miles away. You feel abandoned and forgotten. At such times, what do you do? What do you do at such times? § Always remember that He has promised neither to leave nor forsake you 65


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

Hebrews 13:50. God has not promised

light.” The Lord who has promised will

you that you will always feel His

never fail.

presence but His silence does not mean He is absent.

§ Remember that Job experienced a season

§ Continue to love Him, trust in Him, stand on His infallible word and expect the manifestation of His blessings in your

life.

God's

nature

as

your

Shepherd has not changed. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:

of

God's

absence.

When

calamities befell him, he looked around for the good Shepherd but He was nowhere to be found. Despite the silence, Job reminded himself that God was faithful to see him through. He ruminated over God's attributes:

hath he said , and he shall not do it? Hath he spoken, and he shall not

(i) That God is great and His power is

make it good? - Numbers 23:19. He is

unimaginable. He can do anything and

your Shepherd and will always be.

everything and no one can stop Him -

V.Raymond Edman said: “Never doubt

Job 42:2, 37:5.

in the dark what God told you in the 66

(ii) That He is in control because He rules 67


Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Janet Onaolapo

over the earth. He carries the whole

good shepherd saw him through all the

world in His Hands - Job 34:13.

period of his trials and at the end, gave him a double restoration of all he had lost. He

(iii)That He is a good and loving God who will save Him. That was why he said: “For I know my Redeemer lives…” -

also gave him an additional one hundred and forty years to fully enjoy the restored blessings.

Job 10:12, 19:25. (iv) That God knows everything about him. He would give him victory and Beautify him at the end of his trial like gold tried in fire. He believed that God would do whatever seemed good to help him fulfil his destiny - Job 23:10,14, 31:4. Job said “I will continue to wait on Him, trust Him until my change comes.” - Job 14:14. Certainly, his change came; God the 68

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1:27-38. It happened to her just as she

Conclusion

believed. God always keeps to His words. He is your

W

hen angel Gabriel gave Mary

Shepherd and can be trusted. If you can

the news that she had been

believe and completely put your trust in

chosen to give birth to the

Him, all the benefits itemized in this book

Saviour of the world, she wondered how

will become your daily experience.

that would happen because she was an unmarried virgin.

God's wish that you will prosper and be in good health, enjoying His goodness in the

How can a virgin conceive and give birth to a

land of the living will be your portion. On

baby without having any sexual intimacy

this earth, you will enjoy ABUNDANT LIFE,

with a man? The angel told her how it would

and in heaven, you will be welcomed with

happen and she believed saying: “Be it unto

ETERNAL LIFE.

me according to your Word.� The word came to pass and Mary immaculately conceived

As the Lord's goodness and mercy follow

and gave birth to our Lord Jesus - Luke

you, ensure that you keep serving Him.

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Unveiling the Mysteries of Psalm 23

Don't be too blessed and busy to serve God. This is one big mistake many people make when they become blessed to overflowing. They forget the Shepherd who blessed them. Don't join the bandwagon of people who forget God after being blessed. Serve the Lord. Serve Him with your time, wealth, wisdom, children, family, among others. Above all, dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

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