The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. —Psalm 23:1–2
When David said, “The Lord is my Shepherd,”he knew something about the word picture he was using. The first time we ever meet David, he is introduced as the youngest forgotten son who is out doing the chore none of his seven older brothers wanted to do. “Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep”(1 Samuel 16:11). When he volunteered to face off with Goliath, David claimed his work as a shepherd, warding off lions and bears from the flock, had prepared him for the fight (1 Samuel 17:34–37). Because he knew shepherding and he knew the Lord, David found it easy to put the two together—as if to say, “The way the Lord treats me is just like a shepherd.”
The fact that we are not shepherds begs this question of David, “Howis the Lord like a shepherd?”
First, God leads us like a shepherd. We need to be led, don’t we? A shepherd would lead the sheep—out in front of them, not from behind. There wasn’t a place where the lambs would put their feet that the shepherd hadn’t already walked. There wasn’t a valley the sheep went through that the shepherd hadn’t gone through first. And there is nothing that comes into your life that isn’t terrain the Shepherd has already covered and given His full approval. If He didn’t want to allow it, He would have turned it away and you would not have experienced that hard thing. Don’t ever forget the Shepherd ledyou through that ground. The journey will be for your good and bring you to the place He has planned.
Second, the Shepherd not only leads us, He protects us. Sheep are so vulnerable—to disease, to weather, to predators and thieves that come to steal them. In the same way, the enemy of our souls would terrorize us, harm us, and steal our focus, tempt us to chart our own course—and our shepherd protects us. You’re here today because the Shepherd is leading you, and He is filling your life with good things. He wants to protect you
Third, the Shepherd feeds us. For sheep, it’s green pastures and still waters. For us, it’s nourishment of every kind. Devotionals and Sunday sermons are only a sampling of the feeding that comes from the Lord. These meals are intended to fire you up to take the food God has provided in His Word and feed yourself day by day, moment by moment.
The time you spend at the feet of Jesus, in prayer and in the Scriptures is where the real feeding takes place—every day as you walk with and live for the Lord who is your Shepherd.
- Reflect on an example for each of the Shepherd’s tasks in your life: leading, protecting, and feeding.
- How have you responded to His faithfulness?
Father, I praise You for the many ways you are my Shepherd, Thank You that in Your leading, protecting, and feeding, You have never failed. Your faithfulness has never faltered. There hasn’t been, nor will there ever be a circumstance or danger You can’t handle. I rest my life in Your care. In Jesus’ name, amen.