top of page

The Good Shepherd Cares for Us

Mike Kuopus | The Voice of Zion April 2024 - The Sabbath Word 2 Article --


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. – Psalm 23


This psalm is a very familiar writing, a poetic and beautiful psalm. It is believed that David wrote it later in life. He faced many situations and struggles. Here we see he found security in trusting in the Good Shepherd. We, as children of God today, also trust in the same Shepherd.


Lord Jesus is our security, comfort and guidance in our life today. We can trust He will be with us until the end of our time.


The Lord is my shepherd


Most of us have seen a picture of a shepherd watching over a flock of sheep. The shepherd takes responsibility for the flock, bringing them to food and water and protecting them from predators.


Jesus referred to His followers as sheep. We need a shepherd, a spiritual shepherd. We are prone to stray into temptations outside of God’s kingdom. The enemy tries to whisper that there are greener pastures in the world. If we stray too far, we can be devoured by the enemy.


We must be watchful of the many enemies in our life in faith. The world is sinful and attractive. Let us take comfort in the kingdom of God! Let us trust in the same Good Shepherd in which David placed his trust. Jeremiah wrote of shepherds that God would set over His own that will feed and shield them. “Neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord” (Jer. 23:4).


I shall not want


In our temporal journey, we have needs and wants. What does it mean when David writes, “I shall not want?” David puts full trust in the care of the Shepherd, and we can also place our wants and needs there. He carries us through difficult times and feeds us temporarily and spiritually. We remain in His care, and we lack nothing.


He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters


A green pasture is one that provides healthy nutrition for a flock that grazes. In David’s place of dwelling, pastures were often dry and brown. The shepherd would lead the sheep from one green place to another. 


Our shepherd, the Lord Jesus, also leads His own to green pastures. There we can receive His abundant mercy and care. We become full of these gifts and lie down each night to rest in His care, protected from the dangers of the world.


He restoreth my Soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake


We are sinful people and need spiritual care in addition to the temporal things we need for daily life. We find ourselves in need of comfort and forgiveness, we fall and we doubt. Through the gospel message, Jesus cares for us, comforts us and uplifts us so we can remain on the narrow path of righteousness that one day leads to heaven.


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


Sheep are naturally wary of shaded areas because predators may lie there. The shepherd, however, guides them along and keeps them safe. In the world through which we travel, Satan lies awaiting the weak one. But we can be comforted that our Shepherd has a rod and a staff to guide us on our journey. He leads us through whatever lies ahead.


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 final verses of the psalm speak of the happiness of David’s heart, the hope that a believer owns. Shepherds in the field often carried a flask of salve, or oil, to use when sheep became injured. The oil David mentioned is the oil of the Holy Spirit. It offers protection from the enemy, and it cares and heals when we are wounded by sin. When we are thus cleansed and comforted, our cup runs over with much joy!


Hasn’t it been so for you too, dear brother and sister? When we are weighed down by life’s struggles and doubts, is it not a joy when we can turn to another believer and hear the precious message that our sins and doubts can be washed away in the name and blood of Jesus? We wish to dwell in this joy and comfort in God’s house forever. 


One day we, as David has, will leave this life of sorrow and sin and go to rest there in the bosom of Abraham. There we will await the coming of the Good Shepherd, who will gather His sheep and carry them home. When we see Him coming, we will turn our gaze upward and say, “Come, Lord Jesus! We await Thy coming!” Then He will carry us to eternal rest in the glory of heaven.  

Recent Posts

See All

Fundamentalism

The Voice of Zion June/July 2024 - Doctrine and Life Article -- This writing is an excerpt from Miten minä uskon (How I Believe), edited by Ari-Pekka Palola and published by SRK in 2020. The writings

God Will Help in Time of Need

Erkki Joensuu | The Voice of Zion June/July 2024 - The Sabbath Word 4 Article -- He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them whic

How Long, O Lord?

Andrew Hotari | The Voice of Zion June/July 2024 - The Sabbath Word 2 Article -- How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel

Comments


bottom of page