Psalm 23:1 What’s a shepherd?

OK family. It’s been a long while since I’ve done these. But you know what’s been going on in our family over the last six months. I’m “caught up,” so to speak, in my new assignment. And I should’ve started this a lot sooner. I’m doing it for yous guys, and family should take priority.

Psalm 23 is a favorite Psalm for many people. And it’s one of my favorites too-especially in the King James Version. Often times this Psalm is read and associated with those who have passed away because this Psalm is read a lot of times at funerals. I guess it’s because v. 4 talks about the valley of the shadow of death. I’ll address the valley later on.

“Shepherd” comes from the Hebrew verb rāʿâ . It means “to graze.” Shepherd in this Psalm is a participle of this verb. Do you remember what a participle is? A participle is a verbal noun. That means that there’s action associated with the noun. For example, “runner” is a verbal noun–a runner runs. That’s what he does. A “swimmer” swims because that’s what he does. And here, the Shepherd shepherds. That’s what the LORD does; He shepherds.

So, what does the shepherd do for his flock? Well, the first thing is that he’s not the hired shepherd, or hireling. The shepherd has a vested interest in his flock. He wants to protect them,. He loves them. He knows them by name and they know his voice and the flock listens to him (Click here to see a cool example of how the sheep know their shepherd’s voice).

Why do the sheep follow the shepherd? Well, he does a lot for them. That’s why. For instance, the shepherd travels with the flock. He goes before them to lead him to the pastures that he knows will be good for the flock. That implies that the shepherd also knows where the good pastures are located. He must be very familiar with the paths and routes. The shepherd must also be timely in leading the flock so that he can get them to the good watering places in a timely manner. If he doesn’t, then they will get thirsty and die.

The shepherd must get his flock back to their pens in time before nightfall. If he can’t, then the shepherd will stay awake all night in order to keep watch over the flock by night, watching out for thieves and dangerous animals.

This is a lot of stuff that the shepherd does for his sheep. And  there’s plenty more. Can you see how this translates over to Jesus who is THE Good Shepherd? He loves His flock; He loves you! He has a vested interest in His flock; He has a vested interest in you. Jesus went to the cross to defend us from our greatest enemies; our sin, death, and Satan himself. The Good Shepherd is victorious over all of these since He laid down His life for His sheep, only to take it up again on Easter morning. The Good Shepherd knows where the good pastures are, and He knows where and when to lead us there. The Good Shepherd also keeps watch over us 24/7. He never sleeps, and Jesus never goes off duty.

With Jesus as your shepherd, you lack nothing. He supplies all you need. What are some things you “need?” Are you confusing needs with wants? How do some of the duties of shepherds help you in understanding Jesus? And, how does this help you in your daily walk with Him?

I love you guys!


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