“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth 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 thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalms 23:1-6 KJV
Psalm 23 is one of the most well known psalms. We can find it in people’s homes, written on inspiration cards and even on bumper stickers. Yet do we know what the psalmist David truly meant as he penned the words? Let’s take a closer look today.
When I say, “The Lord is my shepherd”, I am also saying that I am a sheep. Here in Singapore, we do not know much about sheep but a quick Google search tells me a hard fact: sheep are not the most intelligent of animals. They are naturally defenseless and in need of the protection of a flock as well as an experienced shepherd.
I am in need of a Good Shepherd. Thank God that He’s the best One there is.
I love my shepherd. He takes care of me really well. Yes he may have an entire flock to care for but he pays careful attention to each of our individual needs. He has promised to supply all of my needs (Philippians 4:19). So if I don’t have it, it means I do not need it now. When he’s my shepherd, there is nothing lacking in my life.
There’s a sense of safety when he is around. I need not worry about wolves lurking nearby because he is in complete control. He sees more than I see and he is more than able to protect me. As a sheep, I’m not a leader. Left to my own devices, I often wander away from safety and into trouble. I have learnt to listen for his voice of leading. When he tells us it’s time to move, I follow because I know he leads me beside still waters and in the paths of righteousness. I love to graze and my shepherd brings us to green pastures.
It’s true when they say: fear is having faith in your bad situation. Being a sheep, I can become afraid very easily. Sudden loud noises can make me really nervous. However, hearing my shepherd’s voice gives me the assurance that I’m going to be fine. He is with me even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. His presence brings me comfort. I learn to put my faith in him and not in the circumstances around me.
That also reminds me: after a long day, I look forward to a good rest. It is said that sheep do not lie down easily; certain requirements need to be met first. My shepherd fulfills all of those requirements and makes me lie down in good places. He takes care of all the things that would otherwise bother me. When he’s around, there is peace instead of tension among the flock. I don’t have to worry about food because I’m well fed. He pours oil over my head so flies of doubt and fear cannot irritate and confuse me.
I’m happy and grateful for my Shepherd. If you ever have a chance to meet Him, you’ll know why.