How does God shepherd us?
What would be on your “Mt. Rushmore” of scripture passages? It might be tough to narrow to just four because there are so many amazing options; but Psalm 23 would be on a lot of people’s list! Why? Because in times of trouble, or grief, or loss, or heartache, the soothing promises of this passage bring comfort beyond words. In this beautiful passage, we discover the nature and character of Jehovah Rohi, our Shepherd. (Read Psalm 23)
This psalm is attributed to King David. It was likely written later in his reign as he reflected on his days as a young shepherd tending sheep. No doubt, as a shepherd, David cared deeply for his sheep, even risking his own life to protect them. He knew how important his leadership, his protection, his love was for his sheep. At this stage in his life, King David had been through a lot. He had experienced enormous highs and lows, victories and failures, wins and losses So he knew how important God’s leadership, God’s protection and God’s love was for him. How about you? Do you know how God, Jehovah Rohi, shepherds you?
In this text we discover Six ways God shepherds us…
1) God is MY shepherd… He cares for ME! (Psalm 23:1a). Count the number ofpersonal pronouns (my, me, and I) in Psalm 23. I counted 17 in those six verses! Why so many? We know David had been through a gauntlet in life… spectacular successes and devastating failures. But, even as a powerful king, he knew how desperate he was for a personal Shepherd. God wants to be your shepherd too!
2) God takes care of all my needs. (Psalm 23:1b). Is there anything that you are lacking in your life right now? Any need that you have that is not being met? God provides for our needs. The King James version says, “I shall not want”. Sometimes we confuse wants with needs. Have you noticed that? What we need and what we want may be two entirely different things.
3) God lifts me up when I am down. (Psalm 23:3a). God refreshes our souls daily! He lifts us up when we are beaten down by the woes and worries this world pounds us with daily. All of us are weary right now suffering the strains associated with living through a pandemic. This has been a time like no other in my lifetime. There is so much stress and anger and division and conflict in our lives these days… we need soul refreshment daily. Will you let God refresh your soul today?
4) God guides me along the right paths! (Psalm 23:3b). Have you ever been at a crossroads in life, not sure which road to take? God is ready to guide you down the right path. None of us wants to go down the wrong path. That path leads to heartache and pain and loss. King David had been down that path. He knew that path far too well. He also knew he didn’t want to go that way again! Maybe you’ve been down that path too. Jehovah Rohi will lead you down the “right path”. Will you follow Him?
5) God walks with me through my darkest days. (Psalm 23:4). Have you been through a dark valley in life? If not, just wait! Life is filled with ups and downs… David knew that. Some by his own actions; some by the actions of others. But in the darkest seasons, God, our Shepherd, doesn’t just lead us, He comes alongside us. He walks with us! He carries our burdens, holds us up, protects us, draws us near. Will you let Him come alongside you today?
6) God pursues me with His great goodness and unfailing love! (Psalm 23:5-6) God invites you to His table! Anointing with oil is a form of blessing given to a special, honored guest! You are blessed, honored and special to God, invited into His very home to sit at His table. The word for “follow” is literally “pursue”. That means that God is pursuing you with His great goodness and unfailing love.
God has revealed the depth of His goodness and love for us in His son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd! 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
A good shepherd protects His sheep. He is willing to risk His life to protect His sheep. As a young shepherd, David did that when he fought wild beasts to protect them. Jesus was willing to lay down His life for us… to protect us from sin’s penalty, death. It is because of Jesus’, the Good Shepherd, that we now have eternal life. Will you commit your life to Him? Will you follow Him? (John 10:27-30)
For much more, listen to Revealed: The Names of God - Part 4 - Jehovah Rohi.