Protected by the Shepherd
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
Today we are going to study a very familiar record in the Old Testament.
We are going to study about the shepherd in Psalm 23. We are going to study ways in which a shepherd deals with his sheep. Keep in mind this Shepherd is a type of the great and Good Shepherd – our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sheep are considered to be stupid, but the shepherd lovingly cares for them.
He keeps himself between the flock and the wild animal. Jesus loves you and cares for you too.
He cares for His flock and leads them to the “green pastures” (verse 2). So the good Shepherd feeds us. How does he do this for us? Through His words, the Bible, God’s Word is our food.
Ezekiel 3:1-3, 1. “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2. So I opened my mouth, and caused me to eat that roll. 3. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”
1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
As we read the Bible, God speaks to our heart. This then is spiritual food.
When the Lord Jesus arose from the dead, He freely forgave us. What a price He paid for us!
At evening the shepherd leads his sheep into the fold.
According to the Bible dictionary, as each sheep files in, the shepherd makes sure that none of his sheep are missing.
So it is with us. All of those, and only those, who belong to the Lord Jesus, “will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” (verse 6). None will be missing. How tenderly the Good Shepherd loves His sheep. The Psalmist explained in verse 4: “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they (will) comfort me.”
With this rod, the shepherd protects his sheep from the wild animals. With his staff he supports and corrects his sheep. So our Shepherd protects us from Satan and his evil forces. Throughout all of life He supports us and, when we need it, corrects us. The Lord Jesus is our Loving friend and our Good Shepherd.
The shepherd has to defend (keep) his frock from the enemy that can be seen (wolves) as well as from the hidden enemy (serpent while grazing.) Did you ever notice in pictures how the shepherd is in front of his flocks, protecting them with his rod?
John 10:4, “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.”
Throughout our lives there will be sins we recognize, and we must ask our Shepherd to keep us from those sins. But there will be other sins like the hidden serpent which we will not recognize.
If we should willfully stray away from the Lord – not reading His Word or praying or forsaking the assembling of ourselves, or many other ways we should ask Him to draw us back from those things.
Do you see the lamb as in Luke 15 that strayed off into his own way down the hillside?
As a shepherd searching for his sheep until he finds it, so the Lord Jesus will search for His own. Remember, He paid for us with His blood.
Isaiah 53:6, “All we like the sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that no matter who we are or where we are or where we live, the Lord Jesus hears us when we pray.
The sheepfold has a door – the shepherd himself. No wonder that the Lord Jesus said in John 10:9, “I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.”
Because He died on the cross, because He calls, “Come unto me,” we know that He has promised to receive us, no matter how sinful we are.
Paul writes in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in the form of God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
When you trust Jesus Christ, who died, was buried and rose again, you will be born again into God’s family.
Your sins will be forgiven; you will become a child of God. You can trust Jesus as your Savior today.
Pray for our Nation and for our men and women serving in the Armed Forces.