Psalm 23 is perhaps the most familiar and most quoted of all the Psalms. David, the Psalmist, describes the Lord as his shepherd, the one who leads, feeds and protects. The theme is explored with even more depth in Ezekiel 34, where God describes Himself as the true shepherd to His people. In v 23 of that chapter He talks of the ‘one shepherd’ to come, calling Him his ‘servant David’. Now as Ezekiel was prophesying long after the death of King David this can only refer to Jesus, David’s greater son.
Isaiah 40 :11 describes this shepherd as feeding, gathering, carrying and leading His lambs.
In John 10 :11 – 16 Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd, as the one who would give His life for His sheep, and as the one who intimately knows His sheep. When He came, Israel was a people without a true shepherd (Matt 9: 36), weary and scattered. Sheep without a Shepherd are vulnerable in every sense. A good shepherd in Jesus’ time was much more than just a leader, he was one who cared deeply for the sheep in His care, would ensure they were fed, rested, and safe. He would give his very life to protect them and cared that not even one sheep went astray.
Jesus came to offer Himself to the people of Israel as the true Shepherd His Father had promised them, and for those who accepted Him that is what He became. He offers the same for us. When we belong to Him, we are the sheep of His pasture and He is the Shepherd of our souls (1 Peter 2 : 25) who has brought the wandering ones back to Himself. We can trust Him, to feed us, care for and protect us, even to carry us close to His heart when that is what we need.
Is Jesus your Shepherd in every area of your life?
He was reading the Psalms mostly in his private study. He thought back to when he had read them in the early days of his recovery at Grand Selve, where it was the complaints of the psalmist that spoke most to him. Now as he read the Psalms, it was the cries of praise, the promises of hope, and the testimonies to God’s faithfulness that spoke most into his situation. He could meditate on these, and hear God’s voice speaking into his spirit and soul. He loved the Gospels also, and these he found himself reading as he was illuminating them, his pen being put to one side as the story of his Saviour gripped his heart. The man Jesus came to life in the words, and made him yearn to live a life modelled on His. THE HEALING p 151
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com