Psalms 23 – “A Psalm of David. Adonai is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. 4Even 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 comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of Adonai forever.” TLV
Jesus contrasts the true shepherd without referring to Psalm 23 in Matthew 10:10 and in Matthew 20:28 where He informs us that He is giving His life a ransom for many. That is the work of the true shepherd.
When we consider the personal ministry of Jesus, we find that it is a virtually inexhaustible subject. He came to be our Savior, Healer, and Guide through life. He came to give His life so that we could live eternally in the presence of the Father. But His personal ministry extends far beyond those things.
The personal ministry of our Lord goes far beyond what our minds can comprehend. As we consider some of the aspects or dimensions of His ministry, we are able to see Him in a light that will help us to better serve Him and others. The more we know Him the more we love Him and the sweeter He grows. This consideration should inspire us, build our faith, and increase our confidence and trust in Him. “He is a present help in the time of need.”
The declaration of David, himself a shepherd is powerful – The Lord Is My Shepherd! But what does that mean to us personally and in our daily lives? What does it say about Him? What is a shepherd and what does he do? Important questions for us to gain the needed understanding and embrace the offered victory in our lives.
- The Shepherd Provides For His Flock.
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Because the LORD is my shepherd, I have no sense of lack. I can lack nothing because He has everything, and the shepherd provides for the flock. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Whatever I need, in the quietness of His presence I find provision.
In verse 5 we discover “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.” Wow! This is a recognition that there are adversaries, but in the middle of the struggle, God our Shepherd provides a banquet table and the oil of anointing. He provides food for the journey. Nourishment for living! We are blessed beyond measure because our Shepherd provides.
We see that in scripture in numerous passages. The manna from heaven in the wilderness, the meal for the widow through the prophet Elijah, the 5,000 and 4,000 fed. He is a provider. No, he is our provider. In Matthew 6:11, Jesus tells his followers to pray for daily bread. In Matthew 4:3-4, when the devil tempted Jesus to make stones bread, Jesus responded, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Our physical existence depends on our diet. Therefore, it should not be a shock when we realize that our spiritual existence is dependent upon our spiritual diet. The Word of God is our spiritual food. Food that Jesus provides abundantly. No wonder, He encouraged us to abide in Him and His word in us.
He also provides shelter for His flock. He causes us to rest in green pastures with the assurance of His continued presence. In Psalm 91 we discover that if we dwell in the presence of God, we will enjoy the protection of God. He is our refuge and fortress, and we can walk confidently in His shadow. Jesus made the plea and promise in Matthew 11:28 – “Come unto Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
He provides and He is more than enough. I want to continue this in the next devotional but will pause here.
God bless you as you walk in Him!