The Great Shepherd

A_sheep_in_the_long_grass

A  lot of people can quote the twenty-third Psalm or at least get a good start on it but have you really thought about the words? David’s words reveal that he is extremely close with God, I don’t think that anybody else has ever spoken of their relationship with almighty God in such a warm affectionate manner.

Psalms 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

God cares for and protects His sheep

I found a Bible study that points out that many of the compound names for Jehovah in the Old Testament focus on the type of relationship that David talks about in Psalm 23:

“I shall not want”
Jehovah-jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14)

“He leads me beside still waters”
Jehovah-shalom, “the Lord our peace” (Judges 6:24)

“He restoreth my soul”
Jehovah-Rophe, “the Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26)

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness”
Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16)

“thou art with me”
Jehovah-shammah, “the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35)

“presence of mine enemies”
Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord our banner” (Exodus 17:15)

“anointest my head”
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, “the Lord who sanctifies” (Leviticus 20:8)

Jesus is the Shepherd that gave His life.

The Good Shepherd loves his sheep and He makes His love known by the great lengths that He will go to in order to take care of them. Under the old covenant in the Old Testament, the sheep died for the shepherd, but under the new covenant, the Shepherd died for the sheep!

John 10:27-28 Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

Jesus left the riches of heaven to join us in our world and experience our heartache but He went way beyond our experience and suffered much more than most of us will ever endure. Jesus is the Shepherd that we need, the only source of salvation, safety, and sustenance for the sheep, His personal care for the sheep makes it possible to have a full and rewarding life if we follow the Shepherd.