The 23rd Psalm has remained a very comforting and reassuring scripture for several millions of people for very many centuries. In this Psalm are the words of King David, a great Psalmist and a man who delighted in God so much that his faith remains exemplary to this day. He had a very real and close fellowship with God and in this Psalm he tells us a key element of that blessed relationship he had with God. He declares very boldly in the first verse of this Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd”.

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No doubt, King David knew so much about the close bond and affinity that exist between a sheep and its shepherd having been a shepherd boy before becoming the King of Israel. In our modern world today, we rarely see sheep rearing as it was done in ancient Israel. A shepherd spent full time with his flock, moving them from place to place to avail them pasture and sustenance. I get a very good idea of who a shepherd is as I watch the Fulani herdsmen of West Africa, predominantly found in the Northern parts of Nigeria, move their cattle from one part of the country to another in search of pastureland. They would go deep into the forest with the cattle, sleeping in the open bush, weathering cold and heat, wild animal attack and even involving in skirmishes with every assailant that confront them all in a bid to safeguard and provide for their cattle.
King David had fought off a bear and a lion who had attacked his sheep. Such is the nature of shepherd and herdsmen, and yet there is no good enough shepherd as the Lord Jesus Christ, the Shepherd of our souls. There is none that cares for our souls as the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Good Shepherd that gives us more than any other can give. Come with me and let us examine the numerous benefits King David, the Psalmist, speaks of the Good Shepherd in Psalm 23.
The Good Shepherd provides the need of His sheep. They have no lack of good things that follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). He promised us provision of all we need so that our joy will be full (John 16:24). The Good Shepherd makes the sheep lie down in green pastures. Prosperity and fruitfulness are all benefits we enjoy when we follow Jesus Christ. There is no dryness and famine for those who believe and trust in the Lord. Good health is a benefit of following the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd leads His sheep beside the still waters. He gives them peace like no other can give (John 14:27). In a world so troubled by surging waves of terror, the Good Shepherd brings all who follow Him to the gentle and peaceful waters. The winds and the waves obey His voice when He commands “Peace, be still” and troubled waters calm at His command. Why not follow the Good Shepherd my dear friend, and enjoy the peace He gives? He will lead you to the still waters if you will only let Him be your shepherd.
The Good Shepherd restores the souls of His sheep. Ever so kind and merciful, our Lord Jesus Christ restores us again when we have gone astray. There is forgiveness and pardon and a wellspring of restoration available to every straying sheep, if they will only heed His loving call to turn back again. The Good Shepherd leads His sheep in the path of righteousness.
None of His sheep walks in the darkness of this world (John 8:12). The dark paths of unrighteousness, sin, hatred, immorality and unbelief are fraught with dangerous pit holes and many destiny destroying and soul damning snares, but the Good Shepherd knows all about the dangers which the sheep may not readily see and so He guides His sheep in the right path for His names sake. It is this path that the all who follow the Lord walk and keep shining brighter and brighter unto perfection (Proverbs 4:18).
The Good Shepherd never abandons His sheep in the valley of the shadow of death. He is an ever dependable Saviour. The sheep can always trust the Good Shepherd to deliver from sickness, disease and all Satanic attacks. You can rest assured that He will keep you from evil. The Good Shepherd’s Staff and Rod gives the sheep so much comfort as they pass through this valley. The sheep has nothing to fear as long as the Shepherd with His Staff, the symbol of the Shepherd’s authority and the rod which wards off all predators is leading the way. What do we have to fear when we have the name of the Good Shepherd which brings the enemy down on their knees? The Good Shepherd brings the sheep from the valley of the shadow of death to the banquet and prepares a bountiful table for His sheep, even in the presence of all enemies.
Who is this Good Shepherd? He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He said “I am the good shepherd” (John 10: 11). He alone is the one who can lead us safely through our journey in this world. Every other things or personality or spirits which men worship will leave them high and dry in the end for none other can do what the Good Shepherd does.
Dear friend, there remains now only one question, “Are you a sheep of the Good Shepherd”? King David knew without hesitation that the Lord was His shepherd, and so can you know this. You become a sheep of the Lord the day you place your life in His hands and surrender all to Him. If indeed you have genuinely done this, then you are a sheep and your Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, will lead you into the countless blessings we have seen highlighted in Psalm 23. Again, if a sheep will enjoy the company of the shepherd, it must be humble enough to follow the Shepherd wherever He may lead. As we journey further into this year, it is the right time to follow the leading of Jesus Christ. Let us let go of our judgments and intellect and listen to the instructions of the Good Shepherd this year. I know it and I want to assure you that if you will follow the Lord Jesus Christ everyday of the rest of your life you will have abundant testimonies and you will have cause to say as the song writer says, “It pays to serve Jesus, I speak from my heart”. Now friend, please pray now and tell the Lord you will follow Him this year and that you need Him to be your Shepherd from this time henceforth. May the Lord, the Good Shepherd, grant that goodness and mercy shall accompany us all the days of our lives in Jesus Christ name. Amen.

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