The Lord is My Shepherd

Familiarity can easily reduce our appreciation of something we once considered precious. Sadly, this can become true in our spiritual lives also. The statement “The Lord is My Shepherd” is found in Scripture, in songs, in poems, on headstones, and in quotations of all kinds. Quoted by people from across the spectrum of spiritual beliefs, and often quoted with little thought and even less affection given to the serious nature of these words.

The Old Testament words “Jehovah-Rohi” means precisely that, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” Rich with meaning and an abundance of real life applications, “Jehovah-Rohi” is an intimate confession of belief for every child of God.

Psalm 23:1-3 could be amongst the best known passages with this name. The LORD is my shepherd  (Jehovah-Rohi); I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. There is no time when the LORD stops or reduces His shepherding of His people. His commitment is unwavering and comes with total engagement in our lives as His redeemed children. As a compassionate Shepherd, the Lord protects, provides for, directs, leads, and cares. His patient grace compensates for our inconsistencies, our hypocrisies, our sinful stumblings, and our self-righteous attitudes and behaviour.

At one time all of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him (Jesus) the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:6 NLT). As lost sheep living independent of the Shepherd, Jesus stepped in, taking our sin penalty. The cross further qualified Jesus as Redeemer and co-shepherd with the Father. Jesus told His disciples, I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep (John 10:14-15). What an astounding truth! Jesus willingly sacrificed His life on the cross to atone for the sins of lost sheep. Consequently, as forgiven and reconciled sheep, we have the privilege of knowing Jesus as our Shepherd, and to know Him as He knows His heavenly Father. What a massive comfort! Our Shepherd wants to be known fully by each and every one of His sheep at all times.

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are heavily invested in shepherding their sheep. They never leave us unattended, they are constantly interceding for us, and invisibly protecting us from our devilish  enemies. They seal the security of our eternal life, administering all facets of our salvation, both seen and unseen, ensuring the certainty of our heavenly destination (Php 1:6).

Jehovah-Rohi leads me (us) in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. This assures us of His purpose, to direct us in the righteous paths of life. If ever we find ourselves on an unrighteous path, we know that is not of Him, but of our own fleshly desires, or of Satan. This highlights our need to change the paths we sometimes find ourselves on. Those paths that are weak, compromised, or accompanied by wicked people, paths which are biblically questionable, or loaded with temptation. Commit to walking consistently on His righteous path, where you can testify that “He restores my soul.” For only there will we discover the “still waters” within the messiness of this world.

For only walking the Shepherd’s paths of righteousness will we be able to honestly say that it’s for His name’s sake. Walking with Jesus our Shepherd, we can truly say, it’s to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12).

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