Psalm 23: Sheep.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 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.
The first time I memorized this passage, I was in kindergarten. Out of the hundreds of Bible verses I had to memorize in my fourteen years in a Christian school, this is the only passage we had to learn in the King James Version. Imagine a bunch of kindergarteners on stage in a chapel reciting “thy” and “thou” and “maketh” and “anointist.” To this day, this is what I think of when I think of Psalm 23.
David is the sheep; the Lord is his shepherd. Sheep are helpless; sheep don’t always make smart decisions. Sheep need a guide and a protector. We are a lot like David: sheep in need of a shepherd.
So what does this shepherd do? He leads his sheep to peace, rest, and provision. He guides his sheep in the right direction, down the path that’s safest for everyone. He protects his sheep through the dark and dangerous valleys; he doesn’t leave their side. He lovingly disciplines and corrects his sheep. He is present with his sheep in the midst of their troubles. He is good and merciful toward his sheep, and offers them an eternal home.
How have you seen the Shepherd work in your life?