YAWEH ROI: the Lord is my shepherd
I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep and they know Me.
I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
My sheep recognize My voice and I know them and they follow Me.
The Meaning of His Name:
When I was in the third grade, my family was invited by a neighbor to go to a small new church started in a refurbished prune shed. It was a lovely, cool place with dark wood walls and scarlet carpet on the raised dais. Tiny pails hung under holes in the ceiling, singing a rhythmic song when the rain beat against the aluminum roof.
The first Sunday we were there I sat surrounded by other nine-years olds in what had been the tiny kitchen of an old farmhouse. An older woman (she was probably all of 30!) read poetry or a song- or something lyrical- from a beautiful white and gold bound book.
I was enraptured by all of it.
When the class was over, the teacher handed each of us a mimeographed copy of what she had been reading and challenged us to memorize it. The prize, she promised, would be the appealingly feminine book of Psalms she held in her hands.
I had to have that book!
All week I worked to cram that poem into my head. By the next Sunday I had it down, word perfect, ready to hold in my hands the coveted beauty of those pages.
And so began by love affair with these words written by a boy-shepherd roaming the hills of a far away land—
The Lord is my Shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for You are close beside me.
Your rod and Your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love
will pursue me
all the days of my life,
And I will live in the house of the LORD
Now, all these years later, I know why my heart longed for that little gold-bound book. This Shepherd was wooing me, inviting me into a relationship with Himself, offering to be my Shepherd.
Let’s take a look at what He offers…
Rest from all that striving.
Peace in the midst of turmoil.
Strength to face reality.
Guidance through impossibilities.
Safety while surrounded by loss.
His presence when loneliness overwhelms.
Protection when threatened.
Comfort when afraid.
Satisfaction instead of restlessness.
Blessings instead of barrenness.
Is it any wonder I fell in love with Him?
This Shepherd reaches out His hands to you and to me offering a life that is the antithesis of our reality. In the midst of the darkness and the loneliness and our hair-pulling anxiousness, He promises to lead us into this place of purest pleasure.
Will you follow Him there? Let Him lead instead of holding on to every fretful possibility that holds you stuck?
Dare you trust Him to be your Shepherd?
From my heart,
If you want to know more about all the enticing imagery of this Name, pick up the classic book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.