A Psalm of David: Psalm 23:1-4
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Without the shepherd, the sheep under his care will be lost. They will not know what to do or where to go to find sustenance or shelter. Sheep need to be led; they need to be told and shown what to do and where to go. The green pastures, the quiet waters, the right paths are only attainable through the shepherd. To reach these, the sheep must hearken to the shepherd’s voice and follow only him, staying near the one with the rod and the staff, the one who corrects and protects.
Jesus is the Shepherd, the One who guides, leads, protects, and comforts:
11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me d I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. “ (John 10: 11, 14-16)
Are we the sheep who will follow the Shepherd to green pastures and quiet waters OR are we the sheep who follow our own paths to arid deserts and dried up basins?
Are we the sheep who will follow the Shepherd down paths to refreshment and comfort OR are we the sheep who turn away to take the wide road ending in hunger and longing?
The Good Shepherd wants us all to be in the same flock, together in the sheep pen, where He can take care of us. Listen to His voice and follow Him. His path leads to eternity with the One Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world… 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ “ (Matthew 25:31-34, 41)
Are we the sheep who will follow the Master Shepherd to the right paths OR have we become the goats that follow the deceiver who shepherds us down the wrong roads? Whom we follow will determine our path here and our journey into eternity.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/04/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word