Many people have some awareness that there is a prayer in the Bible that talks about the Lord as shepherd… they may even know the opening line – The Lord is my shepherd…”.
You may know this is Psalm 23 written by David, King, poet, shepherd, a warrior…a significant person in the life of Israel. Look at their flag with the star of David on it. He was, according to the Bible, chosen to be the King of Israel and he led that nation through tremendous growth, but not before having to suffer in many ways. If you read his story you will find it to be fascinating.
Many people have heard Psalm 23 read at a funeral = it has been a traditional reading for many years and for many families.
So with that intro – let me post it before making one further comment and the point of this post.
A psalm of David. NIV
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
At first reading, you are struck by the personal nature of the prayer – the Lord is MY shepherd…and then the personal experience – he leads me by still waters… and there’s more.
But I wonder if the attraction of the Psalm isn’t about two words that you can run over quickly and without much thought… even though…
No matter what, no matter our experience, no matter the location or the time of life, the truth of the matter is that you can trust the Shepherd – even though life is tough, or solutions to difficulties seem far off, even though the loss is real, even though the sun doesn’t shine brightly or challenges seem overwhelming – even though you can trust that the Lord, the Shepherd is with you.
You are not alone, you are not abandoned, you are in HIs hand.
I go to another image from Isaiah 49
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
He has engraved us in the palm of his hands…. he has us – he has you!
Even though…no matter what…
Our role, to be trusting and to be thankful.
Rest in Him today with joy and gratitude.