Psalm 23:1-6, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Sheep are not known for their intellectual prowess. In fact, they're quite dumb. There was a herd in Turkey that followed one sheep off a cliff - one after another. Spectators watched in horror as 1,500 sheep plunged to their deaths. That's why it's imperative for sheep to have a good shepherd.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are like sheep in need of a shepherd. We are prone to wandering off or thinking other pastures look more promising. When we stray, our Shepherd finds us and brings us back into His fold. Through this imagery, we can see the many ways God loves and cares about us.
First, we see that He is a God of provision. He provides for every need - spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Second, we see that our Shepherd guides us along the right path. Even when congregating among other herds, the sheep will hear their shepherd's unique call and follow. In John 10:27, Jesus says that His sheep know His voice and follow Him.
Third, our Shepherd protects us, strengthens us, and works through our difficulties for our good and His glory.
Finally, our Shepherd has made preparations for us to dine with Him at His table as honored guests. He wants to be in close fellowship with us and be included in every aspect of our lives.
Are you listening to your Shepherd's voice and following Him closely? Because God promises to lavish His lovingkindness upon our lives 24/7 and gives us the future hope of spending eternity with Him in heaven. Wow! Jesus truly is the ultimate Shepherd!
Great Shepherd, Thank You for Your constant lovingkindness, grace, provision, protection, and presence. Help me to listen for Your voice that I may follow You closely. I need You! Amen.