SHEPHERD OF MY SOUL
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 English Standard Version
The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1 New International Version
The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1 New Living Translation
Psalm 23, is a chapter of the Bible that I (and many people I know) learnt from a young age. I have recited it so many times that I often forget how powerful the chapter is. The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need, that means the Lord is all that I need and everything I need is found in Him.
Who then is a shepherd, that if I have the Lord as my shepherd, I lack nothing?
A shepherd is a person who tends to sheep. A watch-person, who guards, guides and is responsible for his sheep’s welfare. A shepherd leads his sheep to prevent them from wandering or going astray. This is exactly who the Lord is to us, the shepherd to our wandering hearts. The Lord leads us but do we follow? He guides us, but do we take heed?
The bible uses the illustration of the Shepherd and sheep several times (John 10:12-16, Ezekiel 34:12-15,), to give us a clear understanding of how the Lord cares for us. As the Lord is our Shepherd, we are his sheep. Sheep are very docile and meek in nature. They do not travel unguided as they are prone to wandering and getting lost, therefore they are led by a shepherd. The bible also uses the expression “of sheep without a shepherd” to illustrate what it is like to wander off alone.
Numbers 27:17 ESV “Who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36 ESV
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
When we do not allow the Lord to shepherd us, our souls would continue to wander, like helpless sheep. But when we have the Lord as our shepherd; our guide; “He restores my (our) soul” Psalm 23:3 English Standard Version.
To “restore” means to put something back in its original condition, therefore if we allow the Lord to lead us he restores our souls. This is not a one-off restoration, the “restores” used in Psalm 23:3 is used in a present continuous tense, that means it is constant and never-ending. Whenever our souls are weary, anxious and burdened by the cares of this world, He restores our soul. He returns us to our original condition. The key trait of a shepherd is that he doesn’t leave his sheep, he doesn’t go on a frolic of his own, his number one priority is his sheep. This is who Jesus is to us, He described himself as the Good Shepherd. In John 10:11-16 ESV he said; “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” John 10:11 – 16 ESV
Different people, things or authorities can act like a shepherd to our soul, but when danger comes, they will flee like a hired hand. But Jesus is the good shepherd, he knows us and he laid down his life for us. That is why even when we walk through the valley of the show of death, face arrows by day or terrors by night, we should not fear because our shepherd is by our side. He does not let danger come near us, he never leaves us because we (his sheep) are his number one priority. The Lord is the Good Shepherd, who will not let his sheep wander alone. He is the Shepherd who doesn’t leave the one out of the ninety-nine sheep behind (Luke 15:3-5 ESV).
IFEOLUWA JAIYESMI ©
The Revolutionary Righter. ©