Monday, March 7, 2016

7. The Submission to His Rule: "He leadeth me" (verse 2c)"



March 7


Martin Luther wrote, “Of all the figures that are applied to God in the Old Testament that of a shepherd is the most beautiful. (T)he sweet word shepherd…brings to the godly…a confidence, a consolation or security, like the word father. A sheep can only live through the help, protection, and care of its shepherd. As soon as it loses him, it is exposed to dangers of every kind, and must perish, for it cannot help itself. The reason is, it is a poor, weak, silly creature. But weak creature though it be, it has the habit of keeping diligently near its shepherd, of depending upon his help and protection; it follows wherever he leads, and, if it can only be near him, it cares for nothing, is afraid of no one, but feels secure and happy, for it wants for nothing.”



The Leading Shepherd.  My Shepherd knows how to lead. He gets in front of me, never leading from behind. John 10:4 “And when he put forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” In Israel, it is the butcher, not the shepherd, who walks behind the sheep. He leads because He has gone before me...

     i)        In Evil Temptations - Heb. 2:18 says, “For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Heb. 4:15 “For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points He was tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

     ii)      In Earthly Humiliation - Phil. 2 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

     iii)    In Eternal Restoration - Revelation 7:17 “For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” He is the Good Shepherd because He is also the Lamb who identifies with us and our needs.


 
The Led Sheep. Twice in this short psalm, I am encouraged to relish the leadership of my Shepherd, first here in verse two in His leading me in serene refreshment and then again in the following verse for His leading me in sanctifying righteousness.

 
Because my Shepherd has gone before me, I can trust Him because He knows where He came from and where He is going. John 8:14 “Jesus answered … ‘for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.”

 
Not only does Jesus know the way, Jesus is the way. John 14:5-6 5 Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we know not where You are going; and how can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.’” Sheep are nearsighted, cannot smell water, and have no sense of direction. As a result, they cannot find still waters on their own. But when I know the Shepherd, I know the way, even if I cannot see nor sense the direction I am going.

 
Most of all, my Shepherd knows me by name and because He has spoken to me so often and so lovingly, I know His voice, especially when he calls my name. “the sheep hear (the shepherd’s) voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.”

“Savior, like a shepherd lead me,
much I need Your tender care;
in Your pleasant pastures feed me,
for our use Your folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, You have bought me, I am 
Yours .”

All this month we are looking at the most beloved psalm and the most quoted chapter in all of the Bible, the 23rd Psalm. If you would like to subscribe daily, put your email in the upper right box.