The Shepherd

Psalm 23 says: "1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, 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 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

In describing the Lord as a shepherd, David wrote out of his own experience because he had spent his early years caring for sheep. Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for provision, guidance, and protection. The New Testament calls Jesus the Good Shepherd; the Great Shepherd; and the Chief Shepherd. As the Lord is the Good Shepherd, so we are his sheep--not frightened, passive animals, but obedient followers, wise enough to follow one who will lead us in the right places and in right ways.

We learn the following from Psalms 23:

1. When we allow God our Shepherd to guide us, we have contentment. Meaning, we are satisfied in Him.

2. The shepherd will always make sure that his sheep are provided for. A Christian who follows the Shepherd has no need to worry. God has promised to provide us with what we need.

3. The Shepherd protects us. Look what Psalm 27:1-3 says: “1 The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” David realized he did not have to fear when the Lord was the strength of His life. Because of this, he had a confidence that no matter what came his way, God was with him. The same for you and me, when we hold on to God our Shepherd as David did when all things seem hopeless, God will protect us.