Title: Names of God; part 21. The house of the Shepherd and the sons who live there.
YHVH roiy [ro-ee], “the Lord is my Shepherd,” PSA 23:1.
PSA 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
PSA 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
PSA 23:3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
PSA 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
In vs. 5 the figure of the Shepherd fades away while the figure of the Host appears. As He protects His guest and gives him His best, the guest's enemies can only look on.
In verse five, the figure of the Shepherd fades away and the figure of a Host appears who takes the weary traveler into his house with the words of peace, which guarantees that His best will be given and that He will protect his guest to the point of His own death.
PSA 23:5 Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
The guest is anointed with perfumed oil, given a magnificent banquet, and his cup is always full to excess. His enemies can only look on; because of the Host, they can do nothing to stop it.
PSA 23:6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Enemies were pursuing the traveler, but now he knows that goodness and lovingkindness, or steadfast love, will follow him wherever he goes, all the days of his life. He knows this due to the banquet of the Host.
He knows that though enemies follow, goodness and lovingkindness follow because he has tasted the banquet of the Host, who will always be with him.
The Hebrew word for "house" refers to a permanent dwelling and so should be distinguished from a tent. The house of the Lord is a permanent place and the traveler, weary at times due to the pursuit of his enemy, understands that he always dwells there.
Moving ahead to the words from the very mouth of the Host, we see that we are sons who abide forever in His house, and not slaves who do not remain in the house.
JOH 8:31 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
JOH 8:32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
He was calling all who believed in Him to become His disciples. The disciple is described in the Sermon on the Mount. The disciple has the character of obeying Christ’s word, and as they do, they will know the truth and that truth will set them free.
Abiding in the word, remaining in its sphere through faith and obedience, is the only road to knowing the truth and being truly free. This is the true character of the disciple - the good son.
In the upper room, He stated that if we abide in Him that we will bear much fruit, and that if we love Him, we will keep His commands. Every believer is a son and so every believer abides in the house, and while in the house, beholding the face of the Master, we are all called to be disciples who abide in His word and so walk in His character.
The good son is the good steward, as Paul claimed to be, who takes great care of that which the Master has entrusted to him.
TIT 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
TIT 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
Tit 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
JOH 8:33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet beenenslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free'?"
They claim sonship and freedom through genetics. They claim that they have never been enslaved to anyone while the Romans occupy all of Palestine.
JOH 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
JOH 8:35 "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
The present active participle of poieo reveals a habitual practice of sin of which these Jews, who are very moral, do commit. Unregenerate, they are slaves of sin (ROM 6:17, 20).
It would seem like Christ is saying that the son in the house in sinless and perfect, but He is not. The committer of sin He refers to is the slave of sin. All sons are slaves of righteousness, whether they acknowledge this or not, or whether they fight it or not.
ROM 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,
ROM 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
ROM 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
The son in the house is not under law, but under grace. He is gifted with all things for abiding in the word of the Master, including forgiveness.
ROM 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
ROM 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
ROM 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
ROM 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
All of God’s sons and daughters are slaves of righteousness. They can be disobedient slaves, but they can’t get apart from the seed that is in them, and if it takes until eternity to recognize this, we are all slaves of righteousness.