The Lord is My Shepherd
Psalm 23 is one of the most loved and popular text in the Bible. Many are familiar with the Psalm. The Psalm is read and often quoted at funeral services and memorial events. It is one of the most comforting and inspiring text in the Scriptures. The opening text, "The LORD is my shepherd" conveys confidence and trust in the Lord, our God. A shepherd is a person who herds, tends and guards his sheep. We are the sheep of God's pasture, and He leads and guides us under His watchful eye.
In John 10:11, Jesus introduces himself to us as the "Good Shepherd". Jesus is the Good Shepherd who risks and lays downs his own life for the sheep. Jesus laid down His life for us at the cross. He says in John 10:17-18, "the reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father," (NIV).
Romans 5:6-9 says, "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation," (NLT).
Jesus, our Shepherd, promises to lead, guide, provide, and protect us all the days of our lives. He shows us the way to go and the steps to take to fulfill our purpose in Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," (NIV). The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.
We can trust our Shepherd to lead us on the right path. Isaiah 30:20b says, "...yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, this is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left," (NIV). When we need guidance and wisdom, we can ask God to instruct and guide us. Psalm 32:8 says, "I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you," (AMPC).
Jesus promises to meet all our needs, whether it be spiritual or physical. He makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside quiet waters. If we need healing, He is Jehovah Rapha. If we need provision, He is Jehovah Jireh. If we need peace, He is Jehovah Shammah. God gives us victory over our enemies; He is Jehovah Nissi. He is Jehovah Rohi, the Lord our Shepherd.
The Lord also promises to protect us as we walk through the darkest valley of the shadow of death. We do not have to fear or dread evil because God promises to use his rod to protect us and his staff to guide and comfort us. God promises to provide a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Our enemies cannot defeat us because El-Gibhor, the Mighty God, is with us. Psalm 46:1,11 says, "God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation] a very present and well-proved help in trouble. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge [our High Tower and Stronghold,]" (AMPC).
Romans 8:37-39 says, "Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," (NIV).
Nothing can ever separate us from our Lord, the Great Shepherd. The Lord is good and His love endures forever. The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not lack. Be a voice for the gospel. Wear Scriptures!
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- Dionne Cameron