We often think of David as the greatest King of Israel and forget that he started out as a lowly shepherd boy. David spent his time working in the fields and tending to his sheep night and day. He was intimately acquainted with the role of a shepherd, especially what a good shepherd looked like. He knew what the shepherd needed and what the shepherd must do to protect and provide for the flock.
David was also intimately acquainted with the nature of a sheep. Sheep are vulnerable and need protecting. Sheep are prone to wander and need direction and guidance. Sheep need food, and sheep need rest.
David knew the nature of sheep and the role of the shepherd. This brings an even greater depth to David’s words in Psalm 23 as He describes the Lord as his Shepherd. David experienced how God provided for his needs and led him to places of rest. He found comfort in God’s protection through His eternal rod and staff. David took shelter in God, knowing He was with him in life’s valleys and places of deep darkness. David knew what it took to be a good shepherd. Most importantly, he viewed God as his good shepherd.
Many years later, Jesus proclaimed Himself to be our Good Shepherd (John 10:11). Jesus is a Shepherd who provides for His people and protects them. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him. He is a Shepherd who lays His own life down for His sheep, for you and for me. Jesus indeed is our Good Shepherd, and He came to rescue His sheep from the mouth of the lion. Our sin and rebellion against God separate us from Him, but our Good Shepherd gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sin to pay the debt that we could never afford.
Why? Because our Good Shepherd deeply loves us. Do you believe that? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Our Good Shepherd loves His sheep enough to lay down His own life for us with the hope that we might experience abundant life through Him.
We are His sheep, and we are loved by our Good Shepherd.
Week 3 Challenge:
Jesus is the promised Messiah! He is exalted because of who He is and what He has done. His life, death, and resurrection provide us with eternal security and the hope of His return. Look over some of the promises we have studied so far, and spend time thanking God for a few specific ones that speak to your heart.