In this technological age, with a click of a mouse or tap of a finger, we can access more information than we could ever possibly read or digest.
This week we will focus on the main character in Psalm 23, the Shepherd. “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
To put all of this in context we must start with the fact that the LORD – the self-existent, eternal God – is our Shepherd. It’s not a 9 to 5, paid by the hour counselor who is leading us. It is the Only self-existent, eternal God, the One who knows the end from the beginning; the One who wrote all of our days in His book before we ever took our first breath; the One Who loved us enough to go to the cross and pay the ultimate price for us to be forever forgiven and given new life in Him. This is our Shepherd.
Psalm 80:1 says, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!”
Yeshua is the Shepherd of Israel. He led them and fed them through the wilderness for forty years with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. Later He led them with prophetic guidance through Moses and other leaders. And He continues to lead us and feed us today.
But let’s pause right here. He LED them. He did not DRIVE them.
Yeshua said, “My sheep know My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 Many shepherds of literal sheep and those of two-legged God-sheep often drive the sheep instead of leading them. Take a look at this short video of sheep only responding to their shepherd’s voice.
Our Bible is full of references of His how He shepherds us.
Jeremiah 31:10 Listen to this message from the LORD, you nations of the world, and publish it abroad: The LORD who scattered His people will gather them back together again and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock.
Isaiah 30:20-21 And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
All of these scriptures indicate Yeshua’s role as our Shepherd, but what does the title Shepherd mean in Hebrew?
The word Shepherd is Strong’s #7462. In Hebrew it looks like this: And it is defined as:
רָעָה râʻâh, raw-aw’; a primitive root; to tend a flock; i.e. pasture it; to associate with (as a friend) companion, keep company with, devour, eat up, evil entreat, feed, use as a friend, make friendship with, herdman, keep (sheep) (-er), pastor, shearing house, shepherd, wander, waste. — In today’s Jewish culture it also means ‘best’ or ‘special’ friend.
When we look at the meaning of the letters from right to left, we go deeper:
Resh 200 = Insufficiency, Poverty. Picture: Head Means: Head, Chief, Beginning, Highest, Most Important, a Person, Human Reasoning vs. Obedience. (When we allow human reasoning to be our master, our head, poverty of the Spirit results.)
Ayin 70= Completion of time. Means: Eye, to See, Understand, Experience, or to be Seen, Window of the soul-good or bad (made of a Zayin and Yod—Word and Spirit)
Hey 5 = Grace. Means: Revelation – 5 is the number of Torah – His word, Behold, Give Attention – (at the end of a word: comes from letter before)
Yeshua, as our Shepherd is our best friend. He sees and understands where we are and what we are experiencing (Ayin). He realizes we’ve allowed human reasoning to rule and failed to obey His voice (Resh). He comes bringing revelation of the right path that aligns with His word. We need to pay attention to His leading and follow Him. (Hey)
I receive daily mailings from Bill and Marsha Burns. This was their entry on May 30, 2019:
1 Peter 2:25 – You were like sheep that continually wandered away, but now you have returned to the true Shepherd of your lives—the kind Guardian who lovingly watches over your souls.
Our Shepherd is always leading us toward what is best for us. Other guidance systems don’t have the same moral code nor do they value us the way He does. And, a GPS can even get us lost–can any of you relate? But our Shepherd, the self-existent, eternal God says,
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8
And in Jeremiah 29:11, He says, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Our Shepherd can be trusted. He sees the entire scope of our lives from beginning to end and knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and how to get there.
I conclude with this desire from the writer of Hebrews 13:20-21 NLT.
Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with His blood—
21 may He equip you with all you need
for doing His will.
May He produce in you,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to Him.
All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen.
This week instead of calling your best friend, or putting a plea for help on Facebook, or searching YouTube for a how-to, take a minute, get quiet, and call on your Shepherd. He already knows you have needs, but He is waiting for your call. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like more encouragement about His role as your Shepherd, read John 10 or take a look at this piece I wrote last year about Psalm 23.
The LORD is our Shepherd, we shall not want…
Have a blessed week. Shalom ♥