Christian Living, Faith

Psalm 23 Series: The Lord Is My Shepherd II

Photo Credits: Stephen’s Quintet (grouping of five galaxies as captured by NASA’s new James Webb Telescope) https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-034#section-id-2

The images from the James Webb Telescope should jolt us into the reality of greatness of our God. Discoveries are being made every day of galaxies upon galaxies, planets and stars. The God who created the universe, which includes the earth and these galaxies shown in the above photograph, chooses to be in a relationship with his prized creation – humanity. Yet, even Christians’ view of Him is much too small. As a result, it is difficult for many to fathom Him to be qualified as our shepherd, let alone, The Good Shepherd.

One may to refer to David as “poet laureate” of Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel. He was a shepherd long before he was King. Having observed sheep’s behavior, David undoubtedly saw himself as he penned the 23rd Psalm. He expressed his total dependency on the Creator, the Good Shepherd, considering his inability. Keller states it was as if David boasted with pride, “Look at who my shepherd is -my owner -my manager?” “The Lord is!”

Likewise, it is staggering to know that Christ, Creator of such a magnanimous universe, calls Himself my Shepherd, and invites me to consider myself His sheep – the object of His devotion, affection, and care. Since He is the one who brought me into being, then He is the only one qualified to understand or care for me. A sheepherder will tell you that this livestock requires meticulous care and endless attention more than any other kind. This answers the question of why this analogy appears throughout the Bible describing the relationship between Lord and human creation.

Each shepherd has a distinctive earmark that he cuts into an ear of each sheep he purchases, which distinguishes the animal as his own. Our distinctive mark is the cross of Christ. Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 NLT). This means we must willingly come under his direction and management. Then, and only then, can we rightly claim, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

References:

Keller, W. Phillip. A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1970, 2007.