The Lord is My Shepherd!
We recently heard a powerful message by Jill Briscoe from Telling the Truth Ministries on this very subject. (To hear the message, visit our website listed below.)
This word “Shepherd” is by far the most popular and beloved way to describe our relationship with the Lord: we as the sheep and the Lord as our Shepherd. We can so easily relate with sheep and how utterly lost they would be without their shepherd! All other animals are self-sufficient; sheep are not. Their life depends, literally, upon the kind of care provided by their shepherd.
And what care our Shepherd provides! Psalm 22 describes the Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. Isaiah 53 tells us that He was bruised and broken for us, that He was wounded for our transgressions, and that the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. Like the lost sheep, we all have gone astray but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Psalm 23 is a beautiful picture of the Good Shepherd’s care for His sheep. Psalm 24 shows us the victorious, risen Shepherd King who will rule and reign and set all things right! What a Good Shepherd indeed!
Yet not all sheep have a “good” shepherd. As you look at the sheep, it is not hard to see whether their shepherd is good and attentive or careless and negligent. Sheep will not rest or lie down until their stomachs are full. Are the sheep well fed? Are they resting? Or are they scrawny, malnourished, and agitated? The Good Shepherd always leads His sheep to luscious, green grass and fresh water. He is ever vigilant to look out for predators. At night as they’re all carefully accounted for and safely in the fold, the shepherd lies down in the doorway to keep them safe from any danger that could enter.
There is a beautiful story told of a pastor who was teaching his congregation from Psalm 23, many of whom were shepherds. He focused on the first five words of this Psalm: The Lord is my Shepherd. He explained their significance word by word. He said “Grab your thumb and say ‘The.’” “Grab your pointer finger and say ‘Lord’, your middle finger and say ‘is,’ your ring finger and say ‘my,’ and your pinky finger and say ‘Shepherd.’” As the pastor was continuing his message, a little shepherd boy, who was loved by all those in the town, noticed that the weather turned ominous as a storm approached. He quickly ran out to make sure that his flock was ok. The next day some of the townspeople told the minister the sad news: the little shepherd boy had died in the storm. One of the men said, “At least we know he is safe in the fold of the Good Shepherd.” “And how do you know that?” asked the minister. “We found him clutching his ring finger frozen to death: the Lord is MY Shepherd!”
Can you say the Lord is YOUR Shepherd? If so, are you resting in His care and well fed today, or are you malnourished, weak, and agitated? Meditate on Psalm 23 and pray, as Jill taught us to do, “Lord, freshen the familiar!”; your soul will be refreshed! If you cannot say that He is your Shepherd, ask him today to put you into His fold. There is none other who cares for you or can take care of you like the Shepherd of our souls. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”
We would see Jesus,
To hear Jill Briscoe’s message, please click below:
For additional study on this topic, you may wish to read A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller.
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