A lot has been said about sheep and their need for a shepherd. Without a shepherd, sheep will wander off and get lost, eat bad grass and get sick, and be left defenseless when predators attack. They aren’t very fast, very strong, or very smart... Sheep need a shepherd.
We Are His
We, too, are "sheep." In fact, we are stray sheep, or at least we were at one time.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray... — Isaiah 53:6
But we aren't just any sheep, we are "the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3). Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We are His sheep and we know His voice.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out...
and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
— John 10:3-4
Like sheep, we need a shepherd, and we have One. The Lord is our Shepherd.
We Need a Shepherd
One of the most beloved passages of Scripture is the Psalm 23. The fist line declares,
The Lord is my shepherd.
We may read, hear, and affirm this Truth, but I am not sure just how deeply we understand it. I don’t know if the profundity of this simple declaration has really sunk in to our hearts and lives.
"The Lord is my Shepherd," is a statement we understand to be a blessing and a comfort, but to me, it is one of the most remarkable statements in the Bible. When we understand the role and responsibilities of the shepherd toward the sheep, it is incredible to think that God would provide a Shepherd for us— someone to care for us, provide for us, keep us from danger, rescue us as necessary, protect us, and guide us. But Scripture does not say God simply provides a shepherd, it says He Himself will BE our Shepherd!
The Lord is Our Shepherd
Most of you reading this probably do not have sheep. We may not have much experience as shepherds, but we do use the concept of shepherding regularly. We speak of someone being shepherded through a difficult time, or a new situation or transition of some sort. Shepherding means someone who knows how to navigate a certain circumstance helps those going through a similar situation. They are there for that person, to guide, encourage, provide, and shepherd them through the situation they are facing. To have someone shepherd us through a difficult time is an incredible blessing.
Consider then, just what it means to hear the words, “The Lord is my shepherd.” Through every situation and circumstance of our lives, we not only have a Shepherd provided for us, but God Himself is our Shepherd. The God who spoke the world into existence has said He will be with us, walk beside us, and shepherd us through whatever life may bring. How amazing is it that the Lord is our Shepherd in life!