One of the simplest concepts of who our Savior is comes in the notion of Him as our Shepherd. As the first verse of the 23rd Psalm declares, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
It’s easy in today’s world to overlook the importance of the shepherd. Overseeing great flocks with love and tenderness, defending them against the elements, the environment, and countless predators, the Shepherd was to his flock a father beyond reproach. Over and over again, our God is referred to as our Shepherd. Psalm 95:7, for instance, says, “For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand Today, if you would hear His voice,” and likewise Psalm 79:13 reads, “So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”
The Lord is our Shepherd, and He is abundantly good at what He does. He watches over us day and night. He heals us when we are sick. He comforts us when we are afraid. He seeks us when we are lost. And He protects us against that which would prey upon us. Skulking in the darkness of the fallen heart are ravenous desires and profane lusts, each watching and waiting for their opportunity to race in and drag us away from He who loves us most. Draw near to Him, friend, for at His side is the only safety to be found against such things, against the roaring lion that stalks about, seeking whom he may devour (1st Peter 5:8).
Our Shepherd is good in all His ways, and perfect in His being, and by Him alone are we saved. Isaiah 53:6 reminds us that it is because of our fallen ways that our Shepherd had to die, for He alone was capable of paying the price for our souls: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He loved us enough to even die for us!
How blessed we are to be loved by such a Shepherd! “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)”
Because He loves us, because of His desire to care for us and equip us with what we need in this life, He will not abandon us, nor will he heap upon us more than we can handle. We thus shall not want for a thing, those of us who understand that He will provide.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32
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