God my Shepherd
Category : General
Psalm 23: 1 (KJV)
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
It has been observed that “although God, by His benefits, gently allures us to Himself, as it were by a taste of His Fatherly sweetness, yet there is nothing into which we more easily fall than into a forgetfulness of Him, when we are in the enjoyment of peace and comfort. Yea, prosperity not only so intoxicates many, as to carry them beyond all bounds in their mirth, but it also engenders insolence, which makes them proudly rise up and break forth against God.”
There are said to be two allegories in this Psalm which are admirably well adapted to the purpose for which they are produced, and supported both with art and elegance. The first is that of a shepherd; the second, that of a great feast, set out by a host the most kind and the most liberal. As a flock, they have the most excellent pasture; as guests, they have the most nutritive and abundant fare. God condescends to call himself the Shepherd of his people, and his followers are considered as a flock under his guidance and direction.
This is to be understood not of Jehovah the Father, and of His feeding the people of Israel in the wilderness, as the Targum paraphrases it, though the character of a shepherd is sometimes given to him, Psalm 77:20; but of Jehovah the Son, to whom it is most frequently ascribed, Genesis 49:24. This office he was called and appointed to by his Father, and which through his condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which He is abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all His sheep and their maladies, where to find them, what is their case, and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent, He can do everything proper for them; and having all power in heaven and in earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being in Him, He can guide and direct them in the best manner; wherefore He is called the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Good Shepherd. David calls Him “my Shepherd”. Christ having a right unto him, as He has to all the sheep of God, by virtue of His Father’s gift, His own purchase, and the power of His grace; and as owning him as such, and yielding subjection to Him, following Him as the sheep of Christ do wheresoever He goes; and also as expressing his faith of interest in him, affection for him, and joy because of him: and from thence comfortably concludes.
The comparison of the care which God extends over His people to that of a shepherd for His flock is one that would naturally occur to those who were accustomed to pastoral life. It would be natural that it should suggest itself to Jacob–Genesis 49:24, and to David, for both of them had been shepherds. David, in advanced years, would naturally remember the occupations of his early life; and the remembrance of the care of God over him would naturally recall the care which he had, in earlier years, extended over his flocks. The idea which the language suggests is that of tender care; protection; particular attention to the young and the feeble (Isaiah 40:11); and providing for their wants. All these things are found eminently in God in reference to his people.
David indicates that his relationship with the Heavenly Shepherd is very close and personal. We are in an intimate, personal relationship with Him. When He was here on this earth, He labeled Himself as the “Good Shepherd“, John 10:1-15. This reminds us that Jesus gave His very life to save the sheep. It speaks of the intimacy of our relationship with Him. How He knows us by name. How He calls us to follow Him. How we recognize His voice and respond in humble obedience. That is the kind of relationship we have with the Lord. Is He your Shepherd? Are you in a position to call Him “my Shepherd” today?
Have a great and God filled day!