This Psalm is one of the best-known and most loved chapters of the Bible. Penned by David, whose early years as a shepherd boy prepared him for life as the Shepherd-King of Israel, it contains some insights into how God relates to His people. Jesus uses this image as He describes Himself as the Good Shepherd and so here I select a few points from the Psalm that Jesus talks about in John 10.
1. The shepherd knows his sheep
‘The Lord is my shepherd’ (v1) carries with it a personal touch and an implication that the shepherd knows his sheep. This is definitely what Jesus claims in John 10:14. In addition, the sheep know the voice of the shepherd (John 10:4).
2. The shepherd provides for his sheep
Everything the shepherd does is in the best interests of his sheep. He provides for their needs so they never want for anything (v1). He takes them to good pasture where there is rest, food and water (v2). He guides them in the right way (v3). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leads His sheep and His sheep follow because they know they will be led to a good place (John 10:4) and have life in abundance (v10)
3. The shepherd protects his sheep
The sheep have no need to fear evil or death because the presence of the shepherd protects and comforts them (v4). Jesus describes Himself as being willing to lay down His life for His sheep (John 10:11). He will protect the flock from thieves and intruders who would seek to harm the flock even if it were to cost Him His life (John 10:11-13).
4. The shepherd promises a blessed future
There is a future element to the psalm as well. There will be protection from enemies, a banquet with abundant food and the blessing of dwelling in the presence of God (vv5,6). And this will last forever! Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is also the gate who promises salvation to all who enter through Him (John 10:9).
Further reading: John 10:1-18
To think about:
Which verse in this Psalm speaks most to your current situation?
|Photo by Bernice|
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