1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23 (KJV)
Psalm 23 has been ranked as the top 5 or top 10 most popular psalm. I know that I love Psalm 23 and have memorized it, specially in the King James version. To me, the psalm is so soothing and encouraging. It started with the assurance that Jesus is our shepherd.
So in the natural, what are the duties of a shepherd? According to https://work.chron.com/duties-shepherd-23576.html, “A shepherd’s primary responsibility is the safety and welfare of the flock. The shepherd will graze the animals, herding them to areas of good forage, and keeping a watchful eye out for poisonous plants.”
In addition, the shepherd cares for the flock, administers medical treatment to sick sheep, shears the sheep’s fleece, keeps the flock from attacks of predators, and the list goes on and on.
With Jesus as our good Shepherd, He does what earthly shepherds do. Jesus cares and protects us. He keeps watch over us day and night, night and day. He heals us by His stripes. John 10:11 (NIV) reiterated Jesus as our shepherd: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” As we know, Jesus did exactly that. He died on the cross so we can have everlasting life. Think about it on a deeper level. Jesus laid down his life for us. He bore every sin that we have committed so we can be free. Let that soak into our spirit. Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to give up His life for us. Only a good shepherd would do that for His sheep. With that thought, don’t you sense a relief from the burdens in life? Don’t you sense that nothing can touch you that will harm you? Don’t you sense that Jesus cares so much about you? I do. After meditating on Jesus as my shepherd, I experienced a release from the concerns of life and felt that I am under the protective hands of Jesus.
My encouragement to you is to read and meditate on Psalm 23 and let every word sink deep into your spirit. And I pray that Psalm 23 will bring much relief to you knowing that Jesus is always there for you. He is your shepherd. Selah