There are some great references in this psalm. Did you catch vs.9 which encourages us not to be like the horse or the mule, without understanding? I know from talking with people who know (because I don’t know) that sheep tend to be one of the least responsive and, dare I say, the least intelligent animals. Compared to a sheep, a horse is a genius. But do you notice what animal we are often referred to in the Bible? If the Lord is our shepherd, then who are we? We are like the sheep who have gone astray. I am positive that the Lord has known the intelligence of sheep and has called us in Scripture a very appropriate animal. All you have to do is look at the book of Judges and the recurring line: “And the people did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” We don’t ever learn, do we?
But on to the psalm. This is a great psalm for lent because it does speak about the joy that we receive in knowing that our sin is forgiven. You see the theme of the forgiveness of sin that takes us from vs.1-5 where he tells us that we have to acknowledge our sin before the Lord and He will forgive our guilt. It is a psalm that focuses on the forgiveness that the Lord provides and ends with a reminder that our hope is found in the Lord and it is in him that we are able to rejoice.