The Lord our Shepherd (30-11-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 90:1-2
Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
In the Old Testament God is referred to as Yahweh, also pronounced Jehovah, and translated in English as ‘Lord’. There are seven occasions where Jehovah is used with a suffix which describes a different aspect of the nature of God.
Today we are going to look at Jehovah Rohi: The Lord our Shepherd.
Bible Reading: Psalms 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. (John 10:14)
If you’ve watched ‘Countryfile’ on the TV, or before that, ‘One man and his dog’, your image of shepherding may well be one of sheep being driven somewhere they are reluctant to go. There may be an incentive for the dog, perhaps a treat or an encouraging word, but there is very little incentive for the sheep.
In rural India, many years ago, I saw shepherds more akin to the biblical image, leading their flocks out in the morning to fresh pasture and clean water, watching over them during the day and then leading them back to the safety of the sheepfold in the evening.
I wonder which image fits best with your understanding of God as your Shepherd.
As a boy, David, the composer of this psalm, was a shepherd. I imagine him alone, reflecting on the hillside and seeing God as Jehovah Rohi, The Lord our Shepherd; a shepherd who sustained him with green pastures and led him to drink from quiet waters, a shepherd who refreshed his soul and guided him along the safe pathways, a Shepherd with whom he lacked nothing.
When we become followers of Jesus he becomes for us, Jehovah Rohi, The Lord our Shepherd. We have his word to sustain us, his Spirit to quench our thirst, his peace to refresh our soul and his presence to guide us on the right pathways in life.
Our good Shepherd promises to provide us with all that we need. Is there anything you feel you lack at the moment? Will you look to Jesus to fulfil that need as he sees fit?
There are many people in need today, locally and further afield. I wonder how we might continue the work of The Lord our Shepherd and, together, help to meet those needs.
O Lord our Shepherd, give me the faith to follow you each day, and the grace to share my abundance with those in need. Amen
The Lord’s my Shepherd