In my last post I spoke of my desire to spend a day with a shepherd during my next mission trip to Romania. Watching a shepherd from a distance has influenced my understanding of Psalm 23. I believe more time with a shepherd would sharpen my understanding even more.
Here are a few sheepish thoughts from Psalm 23 …
How am I like a sheep?
1. I want a lot of things. On my own I’m not content. I will wander in search of something – anything.
2. I often find myself in dangerous positions. On my own I wander in search of something and it usually leads me down dangerous trails. In search of the things I desire I often find the things I desire. That is not good.
3. I fear a lot of things. On my own I’m fearful. I stress. I worry. I’m filled with anxiety. Every unknown causes me grief. Every threat causes me panic.
How is God like a shepherd?
1. He satisfies. God, the shepherd, provides for his flock. A sheep that rests in the care of the shepherd knows the shepherd cares, loves, and provides. Endless searching is replaced with rest.
2. He leads. God, the shepherd, guides his flock. A sheep that follows the guidance of shepherd knows that the shepherd leads sheep to the place they need to be. The sheep lie down in green pastures, they are lead to quiet waters, they are guided in paths of righteousness, and a table is prepared in the presence of enemies.
3. He comforts. God, the shepherd, comforts his flock. A sheep in the flock of the shepherd is comforted by the shepherd’s rod and staff. The shepherd’s rod protects the sheep from dangerous threats but it also provides disciplines when a sheep has wandered. The shepherd’s staff guides, moves, pushes, and pulls the sheep into step with the shepherd. There is no greater comfort for a sheep than knowing you are in the presence of a shepherd. All anxiety, worry and fear is vanished.