Our Great Shepherd

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The LORD is my shepherd. —Psalm 23:1, KJV

I love the twenty-third psalm—it has been a source of comfort and blessing to me and to many others. In the Shepherd’s Psalm, it is the Lord who is my shepherd.

He knows us individually. He loves us perfectly, and He provides for our every need. We notice in verse 1 the Shepherd’s partnership.

I belong to Him, and He provides for me.

The focus is on our relationship.

We also see the idea of contentment—I shall not be in want.

The Lord takes care of all my needs.

In verses 2 and 3, we see the shepherd’s presence.

He makes me lie down in green pastures and gives me rest.

He leads me beside quiet waters and sustains me.

He restores my soul—He brings restoration.

He puts me back up on my feet when I fall.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

In verse 4, we see the Shepherd’s protection.

Then in verse 5, we see the Shepherd’s provision.

And verse 6 shares the Shepherd’s promise.

Shepherds take their sheep to the best grazing land, and sometimes that means taking them up to the mountains, where there are many dangers.

They must watch for storms, flooding rivers, avalanches, rockslides, deep ravines, and poisonous plants—dangers that could end in the death of the sheep.

But often, the best path to the top of the mountain—to the best grazing land—passes through the valley. It is the sweet, constant presence of the Shepherd that keeps the sheep at peace and gives them a sense of safety. We will face difficult days. But rather than allowing our hearts to be filled with fear, anxiety, and worry, we need to focus on God as our Shepherd. He will bring us peace, protection, and deliverance from all our troubles. He has gone before us. He knows the way we should take—we can trust the heart of our Shepherd. He may take us through the valley, but it will be so He can bring us to a better place on the other side.

Premila Pedapudi

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