How Is A Shepherd?
The main duty of a shepherd is to keep the sheep flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators.
In Germany the breed of the German Shepherd dog was started to assist in this duty. The German Shepherd has a loyal and protective nature; it is strong, intelligent and very obedient.
I ask, if this is an animal with such wonderful characteristics, could you imagine how true and deep are the words in Psalm 23?
I will share what I have found in these hopeful verses of the Psalm 23 which shows how God provides for the deepest needs of those who have faith in Him.
I Shall Not Want
David starts the Psalm 23 saying: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. "
The Lord which came to us by Jesus is The Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd that laid down his life for his flock. Matthew 5:6 says: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." If we are filled with the presence of The Lord we will say I shall not want, because in Him we have it all.
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures"
Green pastures is grass or other vegetation eaten as food by grazing animals; sheep can seek out plants that make them feel better. God knows us so well as a shepherd knows a sheep needs to be moved from pasture to pasture. We need different environments to grow spiritually to find the perfection that Matthew 5:48 mentions "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
"He leadeth me beside the still waters."
We will not be lost in a dry land nor trouble waters; God our Shepherd will lead us to a level section of a stream where no flow or motion of the current is discernible and the water is still. God knows our pains, stresses and the need of rest; letting Him guide us...trusting only Him will lead us to "still waters". God's kindness leads toward repentance where we find our peace.
Restoreth My Soul
What a precious enjoyment to know that God himself restores our soul; our essences. He brings back to existence, He reestablishes, He brings our soul to the original condition. How was our original condition? It is found in Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
He leadeth Me
If God leads...we ought to be followers, and how marvelous he leads us as read in Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you."
When one sheep moves, the rest follow, even when it is not good; just like us. We need discernment to have wisdom following others. This wisdom comes day by day seeking...following God.
Shadow Of Death
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
Walking on the bicycle trail in Piñones, Loiza, Puerto Rico, I left my dear husband behind by walking faster than him...I realize the danger of being alone and this Psalm 23 became a judge of my faith.
11 kilometers is what we walk on that trail. Looking to the sides you see shadows...in the spiritual world many things are attacking all the time. Romans 2:4 talks about this "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Such a joyful experience to know that I do not have to fear since He is with us.
Piñones, Loiza, Puerto Rico,
Rod And Staff
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
As parents we know that discipline is indispensable. A shepherd needs tools to lead, guide and protect the flock. God as Shepherd does not hurt us in an abusive way; He comforts, soothes, consoles and relieves us to the understanding of what is good for us. In order to have fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
A Prepared Table
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
We get enemies just because of nothing; sounds strange but true. Being believers, of course we will have enemies; those who do not follow Jehovah. The Shepherd Jehovah that leads those who in their freedom decide by faith, conviction and dying to own self. He says not to take revenge that the revenge is His; and not only that, He being Lord will serve us.
I don't know about you, but when I have an enemy I hardly sleep thinking how I could make things change for a good relation. It is said that nobody is a dollar to be liked by everybody. I just need to know nobody is troubled with me. Even though sadness is in our hearts, God takes care and not hidden, it is in presences of our enemies.
thou anointest my head with oil;
Shepherds pour oil on the sheep's head to avoid lice and other insects into the wool, or into their ears which could kill them. Our Lord anoints us considering that we are exposed to so much temptation. That is why the need of following Our Shepherd The Lord daily is necessary.
my cup runneth over.
There is a Proverb which says " I have received so many benefits that I cannot contain them all". We receive from God to give it among others. "Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;" 1 Peter 5:2.
Goodness And Mercy
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
There is no need to us follow goodness and mercy because as we follow God's way we receive as a result. Perhaps not material stuff, but even in prison, sickness and pain we have joy, tranquility and rest.
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We always have our eyes to the sky for many reasons and one of them is that the clouds are eye capture. This psalm has been in my head and many things relate to it...like this amazing cloud I shot. Imagine to dwell, to live, reside or stay as permanent resident in the house of the Lord forever; you will the moment you accept God as Creator, Savior and Lord.
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
The Lord is my Shepherd
© 2012 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill