“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want!” (Psalm 23:1)
The shepherd is a favorite Scriptural picture of Divine love and care. In the Old Testament, the twenty-third Psalm gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines, which are dear to young and old alike, wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him, and what He would be to them – He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
The Hebrew shepherd lives with his sheep. If they are out in the storm, he is with them. If they are exposed to danger, so is he. Just so, Christ lives with His people. He enters into the closest relationships with them.
The shepherd knows his sheep. He has a name for each one, and He calls them all by their names. Just so, Christ knows each one of His friends, and has personal knowledge of each one. He knows the best in us, and also the worst – our faults, our sins, and our wanderings. Yet, knowing us as we are, He still loves us and never wearies of us!
The shepherd is most gentle with his sheep. He does not drive them; he goes before them and leads them. When they need rest on the way, he makes them lie down; and he himself chooses their resting-place – not the dusty road, but green pastures. He is especially kind to the lambs; he gathers them in his arms and carries them in his bosom. All this is an exquisite picture of the gentleness of our Good Shepherd in His care of His sheep! He is thoughtful toward the weak. He loves the lambs and makes room for them next to His heart. Whatever the need is, there is something in the heart of Christ which meets its craving and supplies its lack!
The shepherd defends his flock in all danger. Often, he has to risk his own safety – and even his life – in protecting his sheep. Just so, the Good Shepherd gave His life for His sheep!
Christ’s sheep are absolutely safe in His keeping. “I give unto them eternal life,” He said; “and they will never perish” – never! “No one will snatch them out of My hand!” And in the end, He will bring His own sheep safely home; “and they shall become one flock, with one Shepherd!”
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this article! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Creative Clicks Photography | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.