No passage of Scripture is perhaps more loved or familiar than the 23rd Psalm. It has been the text for countless sermons throughout church history. Countless believers down through the centuries of time have turned to this psalm in seasons of grief and pain. It is a psalm that presents the Lord as the faithful Shepherd of His sheep, the One who leads us in and out of green pasture. David says in verse 1, “The Lord is my shepherd.” The present tense verb ‘is’ means that “the Lord is shepherding me,” which indicates an ongoing and unceasing relationship.
Because He is my present and faithful Shepherd, as a sheep I know that I will never be in ‘want.’ That is, I will never be at a lack. I have all that I need in Him. In ancient middle eastern culture, shepherds guarded their sheep. They led their sheep. The provided food and water for their sheep. They took care of their sheep when they were weary, bruised, or sick. They rescued their sheep when they strayed. They even knew the names of their sheep and cared for them on an individual level. The way that the shepherd cared for his sheep was a reflection of his character and wisdom. The flock reflected His watchful care and concern. God does the same thing for us, and David even says as much when he writes, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” God cares for us because He loves us and wants our lives to glorify Him. God’s name is on the line when it comes to the care of His flock, and you can rest confident that He will never lead us in the wrong direction. We have nothing to fear, even when we walk through the valleys of life. His promises to us in Christ are sure and everlasting!
For more, read John 10:1-18