The Shepherd’s Care
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3 – NKJV)
Psalm 23 is without a doubt one of the most recognized and beloved passages in the Bible. There is a simple beauty and assurance that radiates throughout these six verses. Many books have been written and countless sermons preached about the truth of this Psalm, yet it seems that there is always more treasure to be gleaned from its words. Let me share just a few thoughts with you.
God is presented as an all encompassing and caring Shepherd, The word “Shepherd” communicates the idea of the love, nurture, intimacy, and spiritual care the shepherd has for the sheep. God takes a personal interest in those who follow Him. He knows them by name and their ultimate well-being is His constant concern.
Verse 1 shows us that we do not need to be ruled by fear or anxiety. Because the Lord is our Shepherd, there is a personal connection. We are not mere numbers in a colossal system or wandering specks in the cosmos, we are the children of the King and are privileged to be under His care. As one songwriter wrote so beautifully:
I’m not God’s child because I’m somebody, I’m somebody because I’m God’s child.
Verse 2 reminds us that the Good Shepherd gives us rest. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus declared: “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” How wonderful it is to achieve rest when we are exhausted, and Christ gives us that blessed promise.
Verse 3 tells us that He confidently leads us. We live in a dangerous world and sometimes the path of life seems uncertain. However, we are not alarmed, for we are simply following the footsteps of the Shepherd, who knows every foot of the path of life that we travel. The Lord is never uncertain of what will take place in our journey; He has already been to our tomorrows.
Verse 3 also reminds us that the Shepherd renews and restores us. As we stay in close contact with Him through His Word, we will find the spiritual and emotional renewing we will need so often. We live in a world that is no friend of grace. The Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians chapter 6 that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. It is an exhausting struggle and sometimes we need to be refreshed and renewed. The Shepherd will provide those moments if we will follow His direction.
There is much more contained in these few verses. I encourage you to take some time with this Psalm and see what other nuggets of truth you can uncover. It will be well worth your time.
Rev. Mike Shiery
Pilgrim Bible Church
West Pine Street, Cedar Springs