A Psalm of David.
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 words that many of us learned by rote, not so?
Such beautiful words, so comforting and full of promise of God's love and
protection to us whom He created.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were
not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
From reading the Bible and listening to our Pastor in church on a Sunday,
we encounter many promises, yes promises, made by God to His people.
Even the various names of God in the original tongues bear witness of His
love and care for us:
Jehovah-rophe revealed God in the role of Healer of our sicknesses
of body and mind; Jehovah-nissi, the Power or Standard of our victories
in life's conflicts. And in Jehovah-rohi, the Shepherd of His people.
The people who we know as the Jews, even from before the time of Abraham,
actually at the time of Abel, Adam's son, were pastoral people, they used
the wool of sheep for clothing, the milk and meat as primary food and therefore
knew the importance of protecting their flocks from marauders, even to
extent, like David, of killing lions and bears.
So, when God spoke to His people through the prophets as being their Shepherd,
they understood better than we about what was meant.
Whether we believe God's promises to the extent that God requires
of us is not the purpose of this writing as it has been dealt with in other
writings on this web site1.
What we need to understand here is the relationship between Shepherd and
Many professing Christians, and this writer was one, became so important
in their own eyes because they had been chosen by God (out of love), that
God wasn't the light of their existence.
We used to ask each other "Is Jesus in the Christian car that you drive?
Do you allow Him in the front seat to navigate? Do you allow Him to drive?
Being a new Christian (and a charismatic), I printed visiting cards that
bore the legend at the top "Jesus is the Rock of my Foundation." Those
little cards are still printed, but the legend now reads "Jesus Christ
is Lord." The importance of "me" has disappeared.
Another example is the time of praise and worship at the beginning of many
church services. While many are very stirring and uplifting, the words
"I", "I will", "me", "we" seem to crop up time and again, the song being
repeated many times. Do these songs stir the emotions, or the spirit? Is
this not like that Pharisee in the temple, blowing his own trumpet before
God while praying?
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the
corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto
you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in
secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for
they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye
therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need
of, before ye ask him.
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that
they were righteous, and despised others: Two men
went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that
I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or
even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that
I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much
as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God
be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house
justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself
shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
A person that we are acquainted with recently purchased a shining new motorcar
and after a month or so changed the standard registration plates to "777
XYZ", the XYZ being the initials of the wife. The number 7 being God's
number of perfection, this would seem to indicate a statement of faith,
of Christianity, not so? How important is this wife in the scheme of being
a Christian? Why her initials and not his? Once when witnessing to this
couple, the wife stated that she was considering getting baptised Biblically
and would invite me to the ceremony!
Here is a story printed in a church newsletter:
Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at their church, the
Pastor and his eleven year-old son would go out into their town and hand
out Gospel tracts. This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for
the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very
cold outside as well as pouring down rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest
and driest clothes and said "OK Dad, I'm ready."
Dad responds, "Son, it's very cold outside and it's pouring down rain."
The boy gives his Dad a surprised look, asking, "But Dad, aren't people
still going to hell, even though it's raining?" Dad answers, "Son, I am
not going out in this weather."
Despondently the boy asks, "Dad, can I go - Please?"
His father hesitated for a moment then said, "Son, you can go. Here's
the tracts, be careful son." "Thanks, Dad!" And with that he was off and
out into the rain.
This eleven year-old boy walked the streets of the town going door-
to-door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel tract. After
two hours of walking in the rain he was soaking bone-chilled wet and down
to the very last tract. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to
hand a tract to but the streets were totally deserted.
Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk
to the front door and rang the doorbell. He rang the bell - but nobody
answered. He rang it again and again but still no one answered. He waited
but still no answer.
Finally this eleven year-old trooper turned to leave but something stopped
Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on
the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front
porch. He rang again, and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in
the door way was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, "What
can I do for you, son?"
With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy
said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you
that Jesus Really Does Love You! I came to give you my very last Gospel
tract which will tell you all about Jesus and His great love." With that,
he handed her his last tract, and turned to leave. She called to him as
he departed, "Thank you son! And God bless you!"
Well, the following Sunday morning in church, Pastor Dad was in the
pulpit and as the service began he asked, "Does anybody have a testimony
or want to say anything?" Slowly, in the back of the church, an elderly
lady stood to her feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance
came from her face.
"None of you in this church know me. I've never been here before. You
see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband has passed on,
some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being
a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart. . .
. as I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will
"So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic
of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof then stood
on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck."
"Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted, I was about to
leap off when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled
me. I thought "I'll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away."
"I waited and waited - but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder
and more insistent and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly.
I thought to myself again, "Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever rings
my bell or comes to see me!""
" I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all
the while the bell rang louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked
I could hardly believe my eyes! There on my front porch was the most radiant
and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life! His smile! Oh, I could
never describe it to you! And the words that came from his mouth caused
my heart, that had long been dead, to leap to life as he exclaimed with
a cherub-like voice, "Ma'am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY
DOES LOVE YOU." Then he gave me this Gospel tract that I now hold in my
hand. As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain,
I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel tract. Then
I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn't be needing them
anymore. You see, I am now a happy child of the King, and since the address
of your church was on the back of this Gospel tract, I have come here to
personally say, 'Thank you to God's little angel who came just in the nick
of time, and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in Hell.'"
There were now no dry eyes in the church. As shouts of praise and honour
to the Lord resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad
descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated.
He took him in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.
Beautiful, not so? Not many dry eyes around. However, is there enough glory
given to the Living God, Jehovah-M'kaddish who sets His people apart for
His holy service? What about Jehovah-rohi who added one more sheep to His
We each need to be taught by God as to Who He really is, and we can only
do this when we place ourselves at His feet in complete abandonment of
our pride, our egos, believing that El Shaddai, the Almighty God
is holy and righteous and love, and willing to enfold us in His arms.
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him
from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ,
but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom:
but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth
greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above
is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth:
he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard,
that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received
his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath
sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure
unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into
his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth
Also, that He is Elohim, the Triune Creator.
You will need to learn that you need this Great Almighty Shepherd to guide
you along the path to your eventual destination, the Celestial City.
The shepherds of the Middle-East, even today, bring their flocks into a
central sheepfold each evening with a "night watchman" in charge. Early
each morning the individual shepherds come to the sheepfold and when they
are all there the sheep are released in a bundle. Each shepherd then starts
calling his flock together because each sheep knows his master's voice.
In this way are the flocks separated and each shepherd can go his way,
leading his sheep to their pasture.
Every now and then a lamb is born that is rebellious and will not listen
to the voice of the shepherd. This means that the shepherd cannot protect
it properly and very often results either in the lamb being slaughtered
for its meat, or that a leg is broken and then set by the shepherd. This
results in immobility for the lamb and the shepherd feeds it by hand, carrying
it around with him until the leg is healed. At that time the lamb will
have learned to depend on the shepherd and will follow him around everywhere.
One of the great promises that Jesus gave was that His sheep hear His voice:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth
not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the
same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the
shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his
voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And
when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep
follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow,
but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This
parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they
were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came
before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am
the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in
and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and
to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that
they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the
good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling,
and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming,
and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth
the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not
for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am
known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and
I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not
of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and
there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father
love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man
taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it
down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received
of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews
for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad;
why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath
a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? And it was at Jerusalem
the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the
temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said
unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell
us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and
ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness
of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto
you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
What a blessing to hear the voice of the Living God and feel His presence
of protection and love!
What a privilege to be an example to others:
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk
not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that
is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling
have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness
with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have
heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That
ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your
mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness
and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth
with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory
that fadeth not away.
(1 Peter 5:4)