“The LORD is my shepherd…” (Psalm 23.1a)
Psalm 23 is perhaps the most quoted and most loved psalm. When we consider that it was written by David, the shepherd king, it takes on even more beauty. What depths of comfort it has brought to the broken-hearted and fearful!
David begins with such a declaration. It is almost boastful–as when one cheers for his favorite football team. Although David was a shepherd himself, he wrote from the perspective of a sheep. Perhaps he thought back to those days in the field when he watched his father’s flock. As he fed them, cared for them and protected them, he realized that this was God’s relationship to him. He was nothing more than a sheep in the care of the LORD.
I have found that there are two kinds of people in the world. First, there are those who recognize their need for a Shepherd. They know that they are prone to wander; they also know how helpless they are to look after themselves. They love to follow their Shepherd wherever He leads. Then there are those who imagine themselves independent. They consider themselves to be the masters of their own destiny. If you tell them that they need a Shepherd, they resent it and look down on you as being weak and stupid.
David was certainly in the first category. He knew how much that he loved his own sheep and knew how much his Shepherd loved him. David’s Shepherd was good and could be trusted to take care of him. David’s Shepherd was powerful and could take on any predator. Finally, David’s Shepherd was eternal. Never would there be a time (either in this life or the next) where David would be without his Shepherd close to his side to preserve him from every trouble and fear.
The good news is that David’s Shepherd can be ours. When we humble ourselves as a sheep, and trust in our Good Shepherd Jesus Christ, He brings us peace with God and opens the line of communication. Then we can hear our Shepherd’s voice and follow Him to greener pastures!