Psalms 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” NASB
I hope that you re-read this entire Psalm as we consider ‘The Shepherd of Shepherds.’ In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Also, in Matthew 20:28, we discover the words of our LORD, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
The subject of the ministry of Jesus is an inexhaustible subject and this Psalm is a direct focus on that ministry. Jesus came, without question, to be our Savior, our Healer, our Deliverer, and our Guide. He came to give His life that we might have life, but His personal ministry to us and for us does not stop there.
The personal ministry of Jesus goes far beyond our present ability to comprehend. When we consider some of the aspects of His ministry, we see things in Him that will or should help us better serve Him. I am convinced that the more we know Him the better we can serve Him. My friend Garry Smith says, “You can’t serve a Savior you do not love, and you cannot love a Savior you do not know.” That may be a paraphrase of his saying, but I believe it conveys the idea. The more we know Him the better we can serve Him!
I want us to consider some of the aspects of this personal ministry and hope it will inspire us, and build our faith, increase our confidence and trust in Him. The Bible tells us that “In Him, we live and move and have our being.” We also read that He is our “present help in the time of need.” He is our Shepherd!
The personal pronouns me, my mine, are used 16 times in this Psalm. That personalizes it powerfully! What a statement the uttered by the – THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD! But that leads to several questions. What does it mean to you and me personally? What does it say about Him? What is a Shepherd, and what does a Shepherd do? I want to hit the high-points on those questions and hope that I offer something that is beneficial in your continuing Christian walk.
THE SHEPHERD PROVIDES FOR HIS FLOCK.
Caring for the flock is a basic function of a shepherd. Let me give you a Roy paraphrase of a portion of this Psalm: “The LORD is my shepherd; therefore, I cannot lack anything because He makes, takes me to a level path and adjusts my pathway so that I lie down in green pastures that are filled with abundance of provision, lush and filled with the needed refreshing. He leads me beside the still waters the waters of refreshment. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies and anoints my head with oil so that my cup continuously runs over. I am overflowing because of my Shepherd.”
The Shepherd provides nourishment for the flock. He guides them into pastures where there is an abundance of rich nourishing food and leads them to the quiet waters of refreshing. He spreads a table before them so that they never lack. In fact, the sheep in this shepherd’s flock have no sense of lack because they totally rely on and trust him.
That principle is evidenced in things that God did for His flock. There was bread (manna) in the wilderness. The bowl of meal was ever empty for the widow who fed Elijah. The 5,000 were fed with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the 4,000 with 7 loaves and a few fish. He is a provider.
Matthew 6:11 instructs us to pray for our daily bread. In Matthew 4:3 we see the temptation of our LORD by the devil trying to get Him to turn stones into bread. Jesus’ response was, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
The Shepherd not only provides food he provides shelter. Psalm 91:1 informs us, “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most-High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” In verse 2 we see Him as our refuge and fortress and in verse 4 we are encouraged that under His wings we are protected and can trust.
In Matthew 11:28 our LORD invited us, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus is our Shepherd. He is our Provider and He is Always MORE THAN ENOUGH! He is Jehovah-Ra’ah our Shepherd and as Hebrews 13:8 reveals, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I want to touch on more of the personal ministry of the Shepherd but will pause here and take this up in the next devotional. It is my prayer that the LORD will watch over you in your walk today and keep you safe and lead you in right paths.
God Bless you and I pray that you have a fantastic day!