The Lord is My Shepherd
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
To fully receive the whole meaning of this prayer we must know the Psalm relationship between the sheep and the shepherd of the field.
First, we must recognize that the sheep cannot survive on their own. They need to have a shepherd keep them together, lead them to different pastures for food, keep them from the areas where they can be hurt. They need protection from the things of the world that look to devour them. You see without a shepherd they will not make it. They are utterly dependent on one.
The Shepherd; He lives for the safety of his flock. He lives with them, recognizes each one, leads them from pasture to pasture where they can eat and be full. He keeps them from the cliffs and protects them from the wild beasts that look to take their lives. His main goal is to provide and protect his flock.
In John 10:11 Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
He came so that we, His sheep, could have someone to follow. Not just someone to follow but someone that looks out for us. Providing all we need physically, emotionally and spiritually. He came so that we could be under His protection from all things.
When I think about my Shepherd I think:
He has restored me, made me new, He leads me and I follow. He has made me righteous by the blood He shed for me. When I face danger in this world, I don’t have to fear because nothing is bigger than my God. He will provide all that I will ever need in this world. He has anointed me, filled me with His Holy Spirit and I am forever marked and changed because of it. Because I am one of His sheep I am blessed and have a favor that is evident to all. One day soon I will live with Him in heaven for all of eternity.
John 10:3-4 also talks about how His sheep hear His voice. They recognize when He speaks to them, and they follow Him. In verse 5 Jesus says “Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
So I ask; Whose voice have you been following lately? Do you hear the voice of your Shepherd? He is constantly speaking to us but most of the time we are so busy listening to the voices of the world we don’t hear Him.
In this busy time of the year when we are preparing to celebrate the birth of that very same Shepherd, are we listening to His voice? Are we taking the time to soak in His presence, praising Him, worshiping Him, committing all that we have and all that we are to Him? Or are we listening to the voices of this world that are telling us that we need to hurry up, buy more gifts, visit more people and attend more events.
Are you sold out for your Shepherd? I know He’s sold out for you. He’s has given us all that we need to make it through yet we continue to try to do things on our own. When we wander away and stop listening that is where we will always find trouble. I heard someone say one time, “I can’t hear His voice anymore” and someone else replied, “How far have you moved away that you can no longer hear Him?” You see He never moves, we do.
I ask you to read Psalms 23 again, very slowly and out loud. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in a new way. Lean in and listen to what He has to share with you today.
In the book “The Lord is My Shepherd”, Robert J Morgan writes this,
In the end we’re nothing more than sheep without a shepherd when we distance ourselves from a loving Creator. We’re defenseless against the prowling lion that wants to devour us. We’re lost without someone to show us the path. We’ll starve without a prepared pasture. We’re easily diseased and often frightened. Without someone tending us, we become ragged, unhealthy and utterly pathetic. Aren’t you glad, The Lord is your Shepherd?