“The Lord is My Shepherd”


Scripture Truth 1941, p. 36

This name of Jehovah, Israel’s Saviour God, is given in the opening verse of the Psalm, and then again in the closing verse, and He is referred to twelve times throughout its six verses, once for each of the Twelve Tribes to whom the Psalm was first given, and once for each gate of the Capital city of the land of promise, and also once for each gate of pearl in the Heavenly City by and by. This special Name of Deity was given to Israel as a nation and has been held by them as a sacred trust throughout their long history. The name suggests His abiding, unchanging character. Men have been changeable, and so has that favoured nation, but we read “I Jehovah change not” (Mal. 3:6). This Name is equivalent to the apostolic teaching, “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

This Psalm is highly personal throughout. In the six verses we do not get the plural, such as we, “our” or “us,” but always the singular number, “I”, “Me,” “My” and “Mine,” and this about seventeen times. As we read the Psalm with devotion, the personal pronoun becomes unspeakably sweet. The Psalm begins “Jehovah is my Shepherd,” and closes with “I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah forever.” Thus each individual in contemplating the blessedness of these themes throughout the Psalm, carries with him a Divine assurance from the first verse to the last; from the beginning of the pilgrim way to the end of it.

“The Lord is my Shepherd.” This corresponds with the new Testament teaching, where Jesus—Jehovah the Saviour—is called the “Good,” the “Great” and the “Chief” Shepherd (John 10:14; Heb. 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4).

Abel, the first shepherd of the Book of Genesis, was called “a keeper of sheep.” Then Joseph follows in the same calling and of him it is written that he was “feeding the flock” (Gen. 37:1). Of Moses it is also written that he kept and led his father-in-law’s stock (Ex. 3:1). David who penned this Psalm was a special shepherd in the midst of the flock of Jesse, his father, and amid strong enemies he defended and saved the lambs and sheep. Psalm 23, and all New Testament teaching, show us how perfectly the Lord Jesus keeps, feeds, leads and saves the whole flock which He has purchased by His own blood, but He does it with an individual care; each member of the flock is an object of deepest interest to Him.