October 1

Psalms 23:1-3 1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

This is undoubtedly the most famous psalm. The analogy of the LORD being our shepherd was taken up by Jesus in John chapter 10. When He said, "I am the shepherd of the sheep," He was declaring Himself to be the LORD God. It is an analogy upon which many a book has been written. In this short devotional we can only touch upon a few of the points.

Sheep are dumb, stinky creatures. I hope you don't feel offended, but I can say that because I am one. Without a shepherd to watch over and guide them, they would be easy prey for predators. They can't seem to find pasture for themselves, and when they try to, they often end up in precarious situations from which they need to be rescued.

The Eternal God is our shepherd. Can there be any better? When you realize just how needy we are as sheep, it is a very comforting to know the Almighty God is our shepherd. We will never have a need He will not meet. He will guide us to places rich in pasture so that we will have plenty to nourish our souls. He will guide us to places of rest with plenty to eat and drink. When we are discouraged and feel as if everything is against us, He restores our very souls. He lifts us out of the pit of despair and encourages us with the loving smile from His face.

And why does He do all this for these stinky, dumb sheep? It is all for His name's sake. His name is the sum of His marvelous attributes. Would He be good, merciful, gracious, just, loving, holy, and righteous if He just let such dumb creatures as us wander to our doom? To show the excellence of His character, the greatness of His heart, He chose to be our shepherd. You could not find another that comes close in comparison. When you realize your condition and the LORD'S wonderful offer to be our shepherd, why would you try to wander off or go your own way?

Consider: Follow the shepherd closely and the promises in this psalm will be yours.