3. The Shepherd: When My Shepherd and God's Shepherd met

                Albert Barnes wrote, “The psalm has always been regarded as one of exquisite beauty. The leading thought is his full belief that God would provide for him, and that he would never be left to want.”

                The word LORD” is the name Jehovah, Yah-weh, a name Jesus uses in the Seven “I AM” statements in gospel of John[1] and the book of the Revelation.[2]  Jesus literally means “Jehovah is Salvation.” When Moses needed to define who God was, God revealed Himself as Jehovah (Exod. 3:14), the self-existent One (Scofield).

            Secondly notice that the Shepherd is mine. Spurgeon said that the sweetest word in the sweetest psalm is the word “my.” He is my Substitute, receiving the affliction we deserve. The word “shepherd” in a Hebrew dictionary is next to the word “friend.” When you read this psalm, do not read as a poem or as a mere work of literature. Read it as one who knows the Shepherd intimately. 

            Third, Jesus is God’s Shepherd. The phrase “my shepherd” is only used again in Zech. 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd … saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd...” God’s Shepherd is not a hireling who runs from danger. He justified me in His death (John 10:10), sanctifies me in His life (“that Great Shepherd of the sheep (will make) you perfect in every good work to do his will,” Heb. 13:20-21), and “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,” (1 Pet. 5:4) He will glorify me.

            My shepherd and God’s shepherd met at Calvary, making Him “who knew no sin to become sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

            My Lord and My Shepherd, I glorify you for loving me enough to die for me, living for me to sanctify me, and for never leaving me. Thank you for becoming God's Shepherd for me.

All this month, we will be looking at perhaps the most beloved psalm and perhaps the most quoted chapter in all of the Bible, the 23rd Psalm.

[1] Seven Intransitive “I AM” Statements in John: 1“I AM that speaks to you” (John 4:26); 2“I AM, do not fear” (John 6:20); 3“If you do not believe that I AM” (John 8:24); 4“…you will know that I AM” (John 8:28); 5“Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58); 6“You may believe that I AM” (John 13:19); 7 Jesus said to them, ‘I AM’ ” (John 18:5).
  Seven Transitive “I AM” Statements in John: 1I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35, 48, 51); 2“I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12, 9:5); 3 I AM the Door” (John 10:9); 4 “I AM the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11, 14); 5 “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25); 6 “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6); 7“I AM the True Vine” (John 15:1, 5).

[2] Seven “I AM” Statements in Revelation: 1“I AM Alpha and Omega” (Revelation 1:8, 11, 21:6, 22:13); 2“I AM the beginning and the ending” (Revelation 1:8, 21:6, 22:13); 3“I AM the first and the last” (Revelation 1:11, 17, 22:13); 4“I AM He that liveth…” (Revelation 1:18); 5“I AM He which searcheth the reins and hearts” (Revelation 2:23); 6“I AM the root and offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16); 7“I AM the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). 


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