THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD (Please read Psalm 23 in the translation you understand best)
Have you ever stopped and seriously thought about what that might mean? Did you ever think about the circumstances under which this “poem” might have been written? If David did it, it was probably composed while he was out under the dessert sky taking care of his family’s sheep. Risking his life nightly, perhaps, to secure their safety and assure that their needs were met. He knew from experience what an important role the shepherd played in the sheep’s well being. And he also knew how utterly dependent the sheep were. He never saw a sheep which did not need a shepherd!
Have you ever noticed how Scripture uses such plain, ordinary, simple language to help us understand absolutely profound, eternal truth? Occasionally, I’ve wondered how Jesus might have expressed such a concept if He’d been restricted to the terms we use today in modern technology. Can you think of any word in today’s dictionary which could even begin to express such truth so clearly, and understandably? And so beautifully!!
It seems to me that God’s choice of the time, place, and manner in which He chose to reveal His will and Himself, is done in such a deliberate manner because His objective is this: Not merely to make His truth understandable, but to make it nearly impossible for even a simple mind to misunderstand. You’d almost have to be stubbornly, terminally stupid to miss the points He tries to make
If God had decided to speak eternal truth using today’s metaphors and analogies, do you think any simple shepherd on the back side of the desert in some distant land or time would ever have been able to understand or pronounce or grasp such terminology. . . much less the message? On the other hand, can you see the wisdom and love of God expressing itself in this kind of deliberate choice? While the unlearned and unwashed could perhaps NEVER grasp anything if God chose to use the language of Einstein’s quantum physics … you can know for sure that the most brilliant, learned mind on the planet could easily grasp and understand the figure of speech using the Lord as our “Shepherd.”
In case you might have run right past it, notice the writer of the Shepherd Psalm claims He is MY shepherd. Saying He’s “their” shepherd, or even “our” shepherd does not take this as far as God intends it to be taken. He intends for you to be able to claim: “The Lord is MY Shepherd” as well. He’s gone to great lengths to enable you to be able confidently to say: “We are His people. . . the ‘sheep’ of His pasture. Let us enter His courts with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.”
As I leave, I’m sure you recognize this is a “work in progress.” I’m studying while I ask you to consider the same material. Before we go further, perhaps you’ll let me know your thoughts on what this Psalm means to you personally. A servant, donkimrey