|Sheep on SXC.hu|
As his children, we are the sheep (sheep do not have a reputation for being extraordinarily wise and clever), which is why a shepherd is such a blessing! If you are not familiar with Psalm 23, here it is in the King James Version, my personal favorite, from Bible Gateway online:
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
As I read over each line, my heart just leaps with joy! Psalm 23 is so rich with the promise of God's perfect loving care and his protection from our enemies, it is no wonder it is loved and cherished by multitudes! The shepherd will not lead his flock into thorns and rocky areas to graze! In verse 2, you get such a beautiful image of being in a restful, well cared-for place.
Sheep also are prone to wandering, falling into ravines or ditches. The shepherd would retrieve the lost, often having to lift them out of dangerous places using the crook of his staff. Sheep are also a target by predators, such as wolves. The rod was used to protect the sheep from wolves and shepherds were trained to throw the rod with speed, power and accuracy to deflect an attack. We also know how David who kept a sling shot and stones by his side and used these as well with deadly efficacy.
God is letting us know that today he is able to protect us from predators, the wolves, that would want to snatch us out of his hand. Jesus made this wonderful promise:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28
Psalm 23 is a wonderful psalm to memorize. It will help you through some difficult days and times, when you need to be reminded and to quote and claim God's word.
If you don't know the Lord today, Jesus would like to bring you into his flock. I'd love to refer you to one of my favorite ministers on both television and the Internet (clickable link), Dr. Charles Stanley, of In Touch Ministries. He is a beautiful, graceful teacher of the Word of God and you will be blessed and I pray you will come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, who will be your shepherd too.
I pray you have a blessed Sunday!