I’m a little late with this today, but I pray it will still be a blessing to you.
Probably the most well-known Psalm of all declares the LORD is my shepherd. Let’s read it.
Psalm 23 (NLT)
A psalm of David.
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
- Feed and water livestock; and monitor food and water supplies.
- Clean stalls, and pens using brushes, and shovels.
- Inspect, maintain, and repair pens, yards, and fences.
- Examine animals to detect illness, injury, or disease, and to check physical characteristics, such as rate of weight gain.
- Herd livestock to pastures for grazing
- Mark livestock to identify ownership.
- Provide medical treatment, such as administering medications
- Shift animals between grazing areas to ensure that they have sufficient access to food.
- Patrol grazing lands.
- Protect herds from predators.
Wow, that’s alot (and I cut the list in half). It never occurred to me how much a shepherd really does, most of it going unnoticed.
Let’s start with food and water… does not verse 5 cover the Lord’s care for our nutritional needs. In America, we live in a land of “more than enough” and sometimes too much.
Cleaning up after our messes: How many times has the Lord rescued you from a mess you’ve made?
Boundaries: Do we not know the line between right and wrong? Is it not written in our hearts, even as very young children? Only society, education, or our own hard heart blurs that line.
Examine: Does God not see our hearts? feel our hurts?
Herd: Has God ever whispered to your heart that you should go to this place? You should worship at this church? You should work at this job? He’s herding you – guiding you in the place you should go.
Marking ownership: Has He not written His word on our heart? Has He not claimed us as His own?
Healing: Is He not our great physician? Check out my blog God as my Healer
Shifting us: Have you ever found yourself going in the wrong direction, even if it’s only slightly? God gently nudges us to move back on to the path He has designed for us to take.
Patrol: He’s ever on the watch for dangers to us. He has sent his angels to minister to us.
Protection: The biggest protection ever: Jesus. He fought the war and won it for us when He died on the cross, and defeated Satan by rising from the dead. He protected us from eternal separation from God. I also believe that each day His hand is about us, guarding us from that which would be detrimental to what He has planned for us.
The second half of verse 1 states, “I have all that I need.” What do you need? Not what do you WANT, but what do you NEED? Shelter, transportation, food. Basics of our society, but do you need them? Will they sustain you when time gets tough? Will they be there through trials? Will they love you, protect you, guide you? I think David had all he needed because the Lord was His shepherd.
Truly, Jesus is all I need.
I’ve asked some tough questions. I pray that you ponder them in your hearts and allow them to change you and make you better.
God Bless You on this Lord’s Day.