Note: My apologies for the lateness of getting today’s post out. I had some technical difficulties. Which means I goofed something up. Which means my lack of 21st century technological prowess got me again. But, if any of you have an eight-track tape player in need of repair, I may be able to help you.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads 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 mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23 (ESV)
Jehovah-Raah. Literally the One True God Who is my Shepherd.
The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the best known of all the Psalms. Unfortunately some see it as a mere funeral fall back reading. But, despite our familiarity with this passage -or rather, because of it – I think it would be a good idea to slow down a bit and absorb these words.
Jehovah is my Shepherd. When I stray (as sheep sometimes do), the Shepherd pursues me. He fills my every need. He brings me peace and comfort from the hardness and storms of live. He leads me back to His will, guiding down the right path and rescuing me from sin, because that is His will.
The path I have to walk may be treacherous, my enemies waiting to attack. But God is on my side. What can man do to me? It is the very presence of God the Almighty that brings me strength and comfort, fortifying and guiding me through my journey.
I am blessed beyond measure simply because of The Lord, my Shepherd. I am blessed by His goodness, and that goodness will follow me throughout this life as I move toward a glorious eternity with YHWH.
Throughout this passage, we are led by God. We follow Him because we are His sheep.
“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” – John 10:3b-5 (ESV)
We know the Shepherd’s voice, and that is what we His sheep follow. And we can rest assured that, whether we understand where He is leading us – whether the road ahead seems rocky or dangerous or uncertain or frightening – as long as we are following the Good Shepherd, we can go in peace, faithfully knowing that His will is right and pure and purposeful and good.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this.” – John 10:11-16 (ESV)
Jesus – God Incarnate – came to earth, lived among us and willingly died an unjust, humiliating death, gloriously rising on the third day in fulfillment of His promise. This He did strictly for us. What did God have to gain through His incredible selfless humbling act? Not a thing. He did it – and all He does – out of love.
Surely He is a Good Shepherd we can follow faithfully.