January 31, 2013

The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23

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.
—Psalm 23:1-3


Psalm 23 is the testimony of a child of God who knows that the Lord is with him always. It portrays the confident assurance that, come what may, in life and in death, this God will be the believer’s shepherd. It shows why this psalm is one of the most familiar and most loved of all time.

David, himself a shepherd, knew about the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. He knew that any shepherd worth his salt would do everything in his power to provide for his sheep and protect them.

That’s who God is for David: a shepherd who makes sure that his sheep will have everything they need. He knows from experience that his shepherd God leads his people beside still waters and continually refreshes their souls. He knows that even in the face of deadly enemies this shepherd will never leave him.

Psalm 23 points to the good shepherd, the Lord Jesus. In John 10:11 Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” And that’s exactly what Jesus did. He laid down his life for each one of us.

With Jesus watching over us and always walking with us, “goodness and love” surely will follow us all the days of our lives. (See Matthew 28:20.)

Lord Jesus, thank you for becoming our good shepherd and laying down your life for us. Thank you for walking with us always, even through the valley of death. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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