~Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

The Word of God is filled with “shall nots,” both in a negative way and in a positive way. The Ten Commandments are the most popular of the “shall nots.” But what about those that speak of God’s provisions?

This verse tells us that the one who seeks the Lord shall not lack any good thing. God’s hand of provision is upon those who seek Him. Just as He cares for the sparrow (Luke 12:6), so much more will He care for us! The times we live in are turbulent and the Word promises it will get much worse. But the Christian has the comfort that God will take care of him!

Our Shepherd, Jehovah-Raah, loves us and cares for us. Nothing shall happen to us that He has not allowed!

~1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

peaceful-lake-65280As a shepherd provides the sheep’s food, water, shelter and all of its needs, so will our Shepherd provide all that we need.

~Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

We will never lack anything that is necessary for us.

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

As the shepherd knows when his sheep need to rest or they need water, so does our Sheperd know our needs. He not only will see to it that we get peaceful rest in His Word, but He will provide that water and food from His Word.

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Our Shepherd promises to restore our spirits when we am spiritually weary. When rough days and dark clouds loom in the distance, we can rest in His promise that He will carry us through it all. Because we are His, He will lead us as we seek to be more like Him. When we diligently seek Him in our day, He promises to make the path clear so we can reflect His righteousness in our walk.

~Psalm 23:4 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.

Our Shepherd not only promises to be with us when we are close to death, but He is there during the whole path leading to death. We will not fear this cancer trial because He is there right beside us. As the shepherd guides his flock with his staff and disciplines the wayward sheep with his rod, so our Shepherd guides us with His Word. He chastises us with His rod when we refuse to walk down the righteous path. All that our Shepherd does is for our good and for our benefit. It is His guidance and direction that cause us to be more like Him.

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Our Shepherd has everything under control. We lack nothing – in fact, we have everything that is necessary in my life. We are truly blessed beyond measure.

~Psalm 23:6 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 born-again child of God receives God’s goodness and His mercy and a sound promise to dwell with Him for ever! Glory!

No matter how many times we read this Psalm, each time brings a fresh new blessing from the God of Glory!

~Psalm 107:29-30 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

What beautiful words!! The same God who allows storms in our lives for our benefit, is also the same God who stills them.  There is a beautiful saying,

“Sometimes God calms the storm,
Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.”

Isn’t that the truth?  The storms of life sometimes come because we bring it on ourselves due to our own sin.  Other times, the storms come because of someone else’s sin.  And then there are times when God allows them to teach His child to trust in Him.

No matter what the reason is, God is there and never leaves us.  He is our guide and our Shepherd.  We just need to let Him lead.

~Psalm 23:2-3 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

 

Psalm 119:174-176 174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

The Psalmist compares himself to a lost sheep. What a beautiful “title” for us; this analogy is used six times in God’s word! As you know, the number six in Scriptures is defined as the number of man. It excites me to see man represented as a lost sheep! Man (the sheep) is eternally lost without a Saviour (the Shepherd) (Psalm 23:1)!

Sheep are one of the dumbest creatures on this earth. If led to do so, they will run off a cliff! God compares us to sheep who have gone astray and are in desperate need of a Shepherd to save them, guide them, and teach them (Psalm 23:2-5). Just as Israel was led astray by the world and its idols, so are the unsaved today led astray by today’s idols (Jeremiah 50:6).  Anything that takes the place of God in our lives is an idol.  Do we spend too much time at work? Then work is an idol.  Do we spend more time watching TV than spending time with God?  Then TV has become an idol.

Man repeatedly attempts to “serve God,” he fails, and then falls away. The lost sheep needed a shepherd – but much more than just an ordinary shepherd. These sheep needed The Shepherd. This Shepherd not only protects them, He gives His very life for them (Isaiah 53:6)! Furthermore, He doesn’t lose even one but seeks out each and every one who was lost and dies for them all (Matthew 18:12-13)!

I’ve heard that sheep know their shepherd’s voice and are calmed by it. In fact, if they do not recognize the voice, they go into a panic. What a beautiful analogy! Once we are saved, we are reconciled to our Shepherd through His precious blood and He is the Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25)! He cares for us in the same way as a shepherd cares of his sheep! When a sheep goes astray, the shepherd uses his rod to “spank” it. If the sheep repeatedly goes astray, the shepherd inflicts pain in order to keep it in the fold (Proverbs 3:11 and Hebrews 12:7-11). Injured, the sheep becomes dependent on the shepherd and stays close to him!  Isn’t that great?

The shepherd’s staff was used to lean on or to support one’s self. Oh how beautiful a picture this paints! I am able to lean on Christ and allow Him to support me when I can’t hold myself up (Matthew 11:28-30)! There are so many things I cannot do in my own strength and wholly have to lean on Him! I have read how the shepherd would stroke (or pet) the sheep with his staff: the sheep would be comforted by it. How many times have I been comforted in this manner during an extremely difficult trial (Psalm 23:4)! I have literally felt the Lord’s presence!  The shepherd’s staff was also used to pull sheep out of a thicket.  I’m thankful that my Shepherd pulls me out of messes and hot water when I haven’t been following Him the way I should!

How lovely is God’s word to me! How precious! There is great comfort found when one searches its blessed pages!

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

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Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 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. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 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.

My Pastor grew up next door to a sheep farm. He shared the day-to-day life of sheep, the shepherd’s duties and the sheep’s characteristics. In so doing, today’s verses opened new meaning to me!

Did you know that there is a “lead ewe” in every flock? The sheep will follow that ewe, blindly, anywhere. He told us of a time when he saw a big cat crossing the street. Following behind this big cat was the “lead ewe” – and right behind the lead ewe was the entire flock of sheep. They followed that cat right across the street and into another field! Sheep will walk off a cliff if that is where the lead ewe goes! The sheep will walk into a bunch of bushes and get caught up. The sheep behind them will keep pushing into them, moving forward, because they follow what’s in front of them. They trample one another to move forward! The same is true if the lead ewe walks into a crevasse. The others fall right into it as well, crushing those underneath! Wow!

Listening to his account of life on a sheep farm really opened my eyes to Psalm 23. I’d like to share the insights from this message and some of my personal thoughts with you and pray you are as blessed as I am!

(1) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. It is the Shepherd’s job to take care of his sheep – to find them a safe place to eat and dwell, and to meet all their needs. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. If a stranger comes into their midst, they panic and start running to and fro! (John 10:27-28) The Shepherd knows each one of his sheep. I love that my Saviour provides me with everything I need – I lack nothing!

(2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He knows what kind of food they should eat and leads them to pastures that will provide them with the proper food. Otherwise, they are like goats, they will eat everything, whether or not it’s good for them! Sheep do not do well when they graze in areas that are not level or that have obstacles. A sheep will run into bushes and their wool will get caught up. Thus the purpose of the hooked staff. The Shepherd can pull the trapped sheep out. If there is a crevasse in the land, the sheep will go down into it, get confused and will lay down and die.

That is why sheep farms have grazing land that is flat, fenced in, with no trees and no creeks. A shepherd will take his sheep to drink out of still waters that are shallow. If a sheep goes into a creek that is rocky and the waters have a strong current, it will stumble into the water. The sheep’s wool will get heavy and weigh the sheep down to a point where it will drown. Therefore, the shepherd provides the sheep with the proper food and a safe place to drink. The Lord provides us with exactly what we need from His word. We can feel safe knowing that we do in fact have His word today!

(3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. When a sheep feeds and drinks in areas where he is protected from the enemy, he is restored physically. As a child of God, when my soul is fed in the word of God. I am restored and fed daily in His word. I have been taught and am led in the paths of righteousness!

Also, the Shepherd doesn’t bring in new sheep into His flock without first placing them under quarantine to make sure that they don’t bring diseases into the flock. The flock may not have immunity to the new diseases, therefore, the Shepherd protects them by keeping the “new sheep” away until He is certain they are disease free! The disease of the sins of the world need to be kept from us so we do not infect ourselves as well as our church family.

(4) 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. Knowing that our Shepherd meets our every need sustains us in dark times. He stands ever vigilant watching ever so carefully. When a sheep gets entangled in a bush because of his wool, the shepherd takes his staff and reaches in to pull him out. The Lord’s hooked staff is ready to yank us out of death traps – out of extreme situations in our lives. We know that if our circumstances are self induced, his rod of correction will still be for our own benefit as the Lord is Good! (Psalm 34:8) We do not have a Saviour who beats us. Instead we have a Shepherd who is gentle and caring.

(5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. We sit at the banquet table of the word of God each time we enter His house to hear preaching. His man, the under shepherd, preaches, teaches us and fills our spiritual bodies with spiritual food that is necessary for us to live in this world, surrounded by our enemies. Once we enter Heaven, we will have no more enemies, but until then, our enemies lie without and we need to feast at the banquet table of spiritual nourishment!

I once heard a message about the oil in scriptures representing the Holy Spirit. His oil, anoints us and prepares us for the world outside the church’s doors. Our cups overflow with God’s bountiful word from the preaching! We can then be spiritually armed for the week’s challenges! As well, our daily food (our daily bread) is given to us each time we open His word. The bounty of our banquet table is only as great as the time we spend in His word, amen?

(6) 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. Our Shepherd’s goodness (giving of Himself for our salvation) and His mercy (knowing that while we are yet sinners, dumb sheep, He died for us) follow us and are ever present in our lives. His promise to us, because of His goodness and mercy, is to dwell with Him forever!

I hope the Lord blesses you as much as He did me! How thankful I am to have such a loving Shepherd in charge over me!!

07. May 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Poetry · Tags: ,

My Shepherd cares for my every need
In my life and along the way
He gives me peace with every trial
Reviving my heart each day

His dear rod and staff are a comfort
As I struggle through that dark vale
They guide me to that River of Life
Refreshing my soul as I sail

He guards my path from the enemy
Each moment, each heartbeat, each breath
His love for me has no boundaries
Far reaching from the cross, to His death

Watcher of my soul You are my King
Diligent, not sleeping, and so kind
I will glorify Your name dear Lord
As I await Your Kingdom divine

Kate Plourde
August 16, 2006

~Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

My Shepherd guides me and provides for me – not just my physical needs, but also my emotional and spiritual needs. I shall never lack anything as long as I stay close to my Shepherd. James 4:8

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I find rest for my weary body, spirit and soul when I search His word – when I glean from it and apply it.  He provides water from His word which gives me everlasting life.  John 4:10

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul could not be restored unless it was lost to begin with.  I was born a sinner (Romans 3:10) – we all are. However, at the moment of salvation, Christ restored me and placed His righteousness upon me.  Colossians 1:20 and Colossians 2:14

~Psalm 23:4 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.

God removes the sting of death for me, therefore I have no need to fear evil because Christ conquered sin and death. I Corinthians 15:55  The Lord guides me and directs me.  When I fall into sin, He uses His rod to correct me. When I stray from the path I should be on, He guides me with His staff!

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One day I will eat at His banquet table at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I will be in His presence forever! Luke 22:30  I am so overwhelmed at God’s goodness! Praise be to God in the highest!

~Psalm 23:6 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.

Because I am a child of the King, His mercy and His goodness are always with me.  I have a promise that I will dwell with Him forever!

Thank You, Lord!

I was driving to work the other day and listening to my audio Bible. At the time, I was in Psalms, and the Lord impressed upon me the words “the Lord is my.” I decided to check to see how many times this phrase is used in Scriptures and what the phrase referenced. I was so blessed by what I discovered, I had to put it down in writing. I hope you are blessed!

The Lord is my:

Strength

(Exo 15:2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

I do not know I need anyone, let alone God, until I am down and at my weakest. It is then that I can see God at work and His strength is made evident.

Song

(Psa 118:14) The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

God gives me a new song when I finally realize that He is the one that I need.

Rock

(2 Sam 22:2) And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

God becomes my Rock because there is no other. My salvation cannot rest on anyone else or else it rests on sand.

Fortress

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

When all the world falls apart around me, I know that I can run to Him and rest in His protection. No one can take away what He has given to me – that is, my salvation.

Deliverer

(Psa 18:2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

He delivers me from the evil around me. I do not need to succumb to temptation because He is there to provide a way out.

Shepherd

(Psa 23:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord gently guides me in the paths that I take but also firmly rebukes me when I am going down the wrong one.

Light

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

My God sheds light on His Word to light my path so that I do not walk in darkness as I once did. I can clearly see what lies ahead.

Salvation

(Psa 27:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

There is salvation in no other than in the Lord. What do I have to fear if I am threatened with death if I do not bow down to other gods?

Shield

(Psa 28:7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

My God shields me from the devil’s darts of destruction. He helps me to recognize them through His Word and helps me day by day. What comfort and joy this brings to a child who is going through tumultuous times.

Defence

(Psa 94:22) But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

When I am mocked and wronged, my God will come to my defense. It may not be in my lifetime but this child knows that it will all be made known in eternity – and that’s a long time!

Portion

(Lam 3:24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

At the moment I was born again, salvation became my inheritance. God’s righteousness is over me, not my own, praise His Holy Name!

God

(Zech 13:9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

He no longer is just “god” but He is now my God and Lord.

Helper

(Heb 13:6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

It is appropriate that the New Testament closes out this phrase with the fact that God is our Helper. There is no way we could gain salvation on our own. After salvation, there is no way we could keep it or live a perfect life without His doing. He is my Helper.

God is all these things and more to the child of the King! Rejoice in Him this morning!

~Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

This same Creator … this same Shepherd … this same God who created us and loves us has great power! This same God who can move mountains can move the weight of mountains from your shoulders! Are you burdened with the cares of life? Are you struggling with cancer or a chronic illness today? Are you in the middle of a rough marriage? God understands. God knows exactly what you are going through and is waiting to help you.

Sometimes He helps without us even asking. He knows how much we can take and He never gives us more than we can handle. That is why He sends blessings our way to give us reprieve from our burden.

Turn to Him today … He’s waiting to lead you to the still waters so you can rest and drink. Let Him do the guarding … let Him do the fighting … let Him do the problem solving! Enjoy His peaceful rest.

~Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

~Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

The Word of God is filled with “shall nots,” both in a negative way and in a positive way. The Ten Commandments are the most popular of the “shall nots.” But what about those that speak of God’s provisions?

This verse tells us that the the one who seeks the Lord shall not lack any good thing. God’s hand of provision is upon those who seek Him. Just as He cares of the sparrow (Luke 12:6), so much more will He care of us! The times we live in are turbulent and the Word promises it will get much worse. But the Christian has the comfort that God will take care of him!

Our Shepherd loves us and cares for us. Nothing shall happen to us that He has not allowed!

~1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

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Today’s name for Jesus was a total blessing to me! Jesus is known as our Shepherd!

~Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (20) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (21)

Let’s look at a little history on the shepherds from the Middle East at the time of Christ. The shepherd had but a few tools for his trade. He possessed a rod, a staff and scented oil.

The rod was a straight stick and was used to beat away predators. The staff had a hook on the end and was used to guide the sheep in the direction the shepherd wanted them to go. If they strayed, he would reach out with his staff and pull the sheep back by its head.

When you look at the uses our Shepherd’s tools, you can see so many spiritual applications! We have the comfort of knowing that Christ carries a rod – a big stick, if you will 🙂 He promises to beat away the enemy and have victory over ole slew foot.

~1John 4:4b … because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Jesus’ staff guides us through His Word:

~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

~Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

~Psalm 23:4 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.

When we disobey the Word, however, the Lord allows circumstances, trials and tribulations into our lives to draw us toward Him.

~Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The scented oil was used to anoint the sheep. I found it interesting that there were three reasons why the sheep needed anointing:

  1. The oil kept flies from laying eggs in the sheeps’ nose. It is said that when the eggs hatched, it would cause the sheep to become hysterical and they would run into trees and even run off cliffs to their death!
  2. He lubricated the rams’ horns so they wouldn’t hurt each other during battle.
  3. The oil was used on the sheeps’ wounds to promote healing.

God anoints His children through the Holy Spirit. Noah Webster defines it as:

The use of oil in consecrations, was of high antiquity. Kings, prophets and priests were set apart or consecrated to their offices by the use of oil. Hence the peculiar application of the term anointed to Jesus Christ.

We are to be set apart, consecrated to Christ once we repent and are born again. We are anointed and when we are obedient sheep, the cares of this world will not overpower us and cause us to be blown about with every wind of doctrine. (see Ephesians 4:14) As well, when we are yielded to the Holy Spirit, we will not be fussing with the brethren but will love the brethren. (see 1 John 3:14) Thirdly, when we are anointed by the Shepherd, we are promised that He will heal our hearts, our wounds, our spirits, our broken hearts, our devastated homes, our sinful lives, etc. Our Shepherd will draw us to salvation, to His Father and to eternal life!

~Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Oh what a Great Shepherd we serve! Praise the Lord that the Perfect Shepherd is our Guide. He is the one who teaches us and leads us in His Word. What a beautiful depiction of Christ – the Great Shepherd! Praise His Holy Name!

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In yesterday’s devotional, we saw how God uses the medium of speech for His Word to be communicated to His people. Is it any wonder then that the Lord would compare Himself to a shepherd? Many years ago, I did a study on the job of a shepherd in biblical times. This comparison of the shepherd to our Lord is an absolute blessing! I pray you will receive a blessing today.

Did you know that the shepherd speaks to his sheep? The sheep actually recognize their own shepherd’s voice and won’t respond to another shepherd’s voice. (Joh 10:27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: I don’t know about you, but this brings me great comfort. A good part of Christ’s earthly ministry was spent teaching His disciples. They sat at His feet listening to His lessons and parables. He spoke to them and shared with them His Father’s will. (Mar 6:34) And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Jesus knew they were without a shepherd and He became their Shepherd and taught them. He taught them from the Scriptures. How can the Christian hear Jesus’ voice today? Christ is known as the Word of God, therefore, it is through God’s Word that we can hear His voice! In fact, without the Word in our lives, we will make mistakes. (Mat 22:29) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. The Word is God’s power in our lives. (Joh 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

The shepherd not only speaks to his sheep, he leads his sheep and he knows each one of them, watching over them day and night. He knows each one of sheep personally – he knows each one of their markings. In fact, shepherds would name their sheep to pass the time. (Joh 10:3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. Does this not bring you comfort, dear Christian? Your Shepherd, Jesus Christ, calls you by name! When I was being wooed by the Holy Spirit to be saved, Jesus was saying, “Kate, come to Me”! Praise His Holy Name! After salvation, I instantly heard my Shepherd’s voice as I read the Word! The Word of God lit up like a neon sign and the Shepherd’s message was loud and clear to me. The pages of my Bible were no longer dry reading but they were alive!

Being a shepherd was was a very responsible job. The shepherd had to keep count of his sheep and give an account for any that were lost. The owner would demand to be paid for each one that was lost. (Mat 18:12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? In today’s mind set, one wonders why so much time would be spent looking for one lost sheep. But when a price is attached to that sheep, one can clearly understand because that lost sheep is of value to the shepherd. Christ paid for each of us with a great price, my friend – with His own life. Our Shepherd gave up His life for each one of us. As the shepherd would bring his sheep in at night, he would count them as they passed by under his hand. Each one was touched by him. Christ touches each one of us through His Word.

The shepherd also anointed his sheep’s heads with oil. The Shepherd in Psalm 23:5 anoints His sheep’s head with oil. (Psa 23:5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. The oil symbolizes receiving God’s anointing – receiving God’s grace to live the Christian life. The oil was used for medicinal purposes – being placed on a sheep’s head kept the sheep from getting sun stroke. It would also heal the bramble scratches. As Moses anointed the tabernacle (Lev. 8:10-12) and sanctified it, so should the Christian anoint himself (2 Pet. 1:14) to sanctify himself daily to serve the Lord. As we read the Word, we hear God speaking to us. As we apply what we have been taught by the Word, we become more and more set apart from the world.

As the shepherd spoke, he would lead his sheep daily to rest at noon in a quiet pasture and to a safe drinking place in the evening. Our Shepherd leads us to quiet pastures in His Word – we need to make time to graze there and be fed spiritually. We also are led to a safe drinking place in the Word of God. It is in our Bibles that we find everlasting water – we do not thirst when we live by the Word. The Bible is a living Book – bringing conviction and direction for the believer. (Joh 4:14) But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Not only does salvation come from the blessed pages of our Bible but when we hear the Shepherd’s voice, we follow and receive eternal life.

At dusk, when the shepherd can no longer be easily seen by his sheep, he taps the rocks with his staff to assure them he is near. This brought a whole new meaning to me as to why David said that God’s rod and staff comforted him. (Psa 23:4) 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. The shepherd’s staff guides the sheep and his rod, or club, protects them from attacks of wild beasts. The sheep are comforted by the sound of the staff on the rocks – they know the shepherd is near and ready to protect them. When we are in the Word, we are being guided by our Shepherd, the Word of God, Jesus Christ. We can hear His staff hitting the rock because we recognize Him throughout the Bible. When we are in the Word, we are protected from the enemy. We recognize false doctrine when we read it and hear it because we have seen and heard the true Shepherd. It is said that bank tellers are trained to catch counterfeit money by having them handle and touch real money. We will recognize false doctrine because we are hearing and reading true doctrine. The more we are in the Word of God, the easier it will be for us to recognize false gospels and heresy.

The job of a shepherd was considered to be an abomination to Egyptians. (Gen 46:34) That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. Since Egypt is considered to be a type of the world, the world will consider Christ to be an abomination. (Joh 1:10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Why? Jesus is an abomination to the world because He exposes their sin. (Joh 7:7) The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Our Shepherd will expose our sin so that we can remove it from our lives.

What a blessed comparison this has been indeed! Our Shepherd speaks to us in His Word. His words guide us, feed us and anoint us to do His work. How beautiful are the words of our Saviour as we read the Bible each day! How can we survive without them?

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Adrift upon life’s stormy billows,
True despair sets in as darkness falls.
The tempest raging, days turn to night.
Can peace be found amidst it all?

My heart is discouraged, my eyes dim.
It is exhausting to seek the cure.
But I know that His Word is my salve.
It is healing and peace, He assures.

A glimmer of hope, Oh soul rejoice!
The Shepherd’s hand wipes away my tears.
Each drop replaced with His light and peace,
His perfect Love casteth out all fears!

Kate Plourde
August 15, 2006

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Thou art my Rock and my Fortress
Thou art my hiding place
Under Thy wing of protection
Thy Word I truly embrace

Thou givest me song in the nighttime
Thou givest me light on the way
Directing my every footstep
Protecting my night and my day

A Shepherd Thou art in my life Lord
Thy rod and staff guide my way
Gently prodding, pulling and guiding
My heart at Thy Throne I do lay

What comfort Thou givest this pilgrim
What peace and joy lies within
Tis nothing I could do for myself, Lord
Only Thy Blood cleanseth me from this sin

Dear Jesus, Thou art my Deliverer
On Thee will I focus my heart
Thou hast given me life eternal
My name from Thy Book will not part

I will meet Thee my Lord, my Redeemer
When my course on earth has been run
And my eyes will be able to see Thee
Then in person I’ll worship the Son!

Oh come join me all ye who love Him
Let our voices ne’er cease to sing
Cast thy burdens at Jesus’ Precious Feet
Shout Hosannah to our Heavenly King!

Given to me June 16, 2006
Kate Plourde

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T’was the name of Jesus that I called upon that day
T’was the Blessed Saviour Who washed my sins away
Tis Jesus my Shepherd who guides me to my Home
Where I will sing praises as He sits upon His Throne

July 10, 2006
Kate Plourde

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I find sweet comfort under Thy wings
No matter what difficulty or trial
As long as my eyes are focused on Thee
On the pages of my blessed King James Bible

A fountain of life for the thirsty soul
With refreshment along life’s walk
Providing direction through valleys and hills
Giving warning when the enemy knocks

How I thank Thee, oh Shepherd of my soul
For protecting me from the enemy’s snares
Under Thy wings I do safely abide
As I find peaceful rest in Thy care

Kate Plourde
July 20, 2006

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