An Emphasis on Every Word of Psalm 23:1(a)
THE Lord is my shepherd.
The word “THE” implies that there is only one Lord. Blaise Pascal wrote, “God created man in His image, then man returned the favor.” It is no secret that I hate this American “What’s in it for me?” version of Christianity. I mostly hate it because I once lived in its emptiness and allowed it to rob me of the blessings that come from a very deep love relationship with THE one true God of Heaven. THE Lord, The God of the Holy Bible, THE one, THE only true God, who came to this earth in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, and now lives in all who put their trust in Him by the power of His Holy Spirit. THE Lord, THE only Lord, He is my shepherd.
The LORD is my shepherd.
If He is Lord, then He is allowed and capable of calling the shots in my life. Even when I don’t understand what He is up to. Even when I don’t want to do what He is asking me to do. I must honor Him with my decisions. I must do as He asks regardless of the cost to my finances, reputation, or even my very life. Why? He is the LORD!
The Lord IS my shepherd.
IS! Right now! Today! Isn’t the Lord simply someone some dusty old two to four thousand year old book talks about? No! Jesus Christ, our Lord, rose from the dead. He showed Himself to hundreds of other people (1 Corinthians 15:6) They believed not because of what He said, but because of what He did. He lived, died, and then rose from the dead on the third day. Because Jesus Christ lives and because I have entrusted my life to Him . . . He IS my shepherd! Amazing!
The Lord is MY shepherd.
Mine? But, I was a stupid teenager and young adult who rejected Him! I knew His ways! I even claimed to know Him. Yet, I repeatedly chose sexual immorality over Him. I repeatedly chose the praises of men over the praises of who I claimed was my Lord. I repeatedly chose worldly entertainment over His Word! Ah, but in His great love for me, He showed me that even though I was Gomer constantly prostituting myself in the book of Hosea, He was Hosea, choosing to love me regardless. Relentlessly trying to buy me back, even if it cost Him everything. When I truly saw Jesus on the cross giving everything for my sin regardless of the fact that I had spit on Him, beat Him, and shouted “CRUCIFY HIM!” When I saw the day He laid down His life for what it was, and I saw it as the price for MY redemption, He truly became MY shepherd. The Lord is MY shepherd. Oh, how I love Him!
The Lord is my SHEPHERD.
Shepherd? Does this mean I am a sheep? But, sheep are dumb! Sheep are very prone to wander away from the shepherd. Sheep are very needy. Sheep will eat from bad ground, drink contaminated water, are constantly fighting off flies and pests, and are very susceptible to wild animals seeking to devour them. Now that I think about it, it does sound like me. If He is my shepherd, then I am a sheep. Bad shepherds don’t really mind allowing these horrible things to happen to their sheep. Fortunately, I don’t have a bad shepherd . . . The Lord is my shepherd! He has so consistently showed me that He loves me and cares for me that I want to stay as close to Him as possible.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – John 10:11