Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Good Shepherd in Psalm 23:6

artwork by Krista Hamrick

It is so energizing and exciting to participate in #Write31days, an online writing challenge where writers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in the month of October. Within the #Write31days category of Inspiration & Faith, I chose to focus on the topic of the Name Above All Names every day for 31 days. You can view each of my daily posts at this landing page.

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art prints, Name Above All Names Alphabet and Psalm 23 have so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference.

My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available on Amazon at this link. 

I was inspired by listening to this beautiful rendition of the Psalm 23 song, The Lord's My Shepherd, by Stuart Townend. while studying  John 10:11 

  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 

Amplified: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.

J. B. Phillips: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will give his life for the sake of his sheep.

The Message: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.

Psalm 23 is perhaps the most beloved scripture about our Good Shepherd. Ask people which scripture they love the most and which has meant most to them and many would point to the Twenty-third Psalm. It has dried many tears and lifted many out of the pits of despair and discouragement. This small Psalm deals with almost every adverse circumstance in life and how to win over it.

Verse-by-verse study of Psalm 23:6 ...

AMP:  Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

CEB: Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.

EXB: Surely your goodness and love [loyalty; mercy] will be with [pursue; follow] me all my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord ·forever [for length of days].

TLB: Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

JEHOVAH-JIREHThe Lord, my provider (Genesis 22:14)

Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes:
23:6—"As the shepherd lay each night at the door of the sheepfold, he looked back over the day and gave thanks that the Lord had blessed them with goodness and mercy. Dr. Harry Ironside used to say that goodness and mercy are the two sheepdogs that help keep the sheep where they belong. We live our lives one day at a time, because God built the universe to run one day at a time. There must be a time for labor and a time for rest. When we try to live two or three days at a time, we cannot enjoy today. Eventually, this catches up with us physically, emotionally and spiritually. As an old man, David looked back over his long life and came to the same conclusion. In spite of his sins and failures, he had been followed by goodness and mercy, which is the Old Testament equivalent of Romans 8:28. Under the old covenant, the sheep died for the shepherd,  but under the new covenant, the Shepherd died for the sheep—and we shall meet our Shepherd in heaven! “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). As David looked ahead, he knew he would be in heaven—the Father’s house—forever."

In the eastern tradition, a shepherd walks at the head of the flock. This is much different from the western tradition of driving the sheep from behind. The shepherd calls the flock out of the pen in the early morning to lead them to pools or wells of water where they can quench their thirst. He then guides them to green pastures, taking them around the rocky places where they might stumble. He assists the tiny and fragile sheep by lifting them with the crook of his staff. He runs his hand over the sheep as they enter the pen, counting them and ensuring that they have returned from the pasture unharmed. Then the shepherd settles in for the night to watch for predators. How awesome that Jesus is our shepherd. He will lead us to living water and guide us along the right path even when the way is rocky. He carries us when we stumble and watches over us during the dark nights of our lives, making us feel secure. All that He asks is that we respond to His voice and follow Him.

Heavenly Father, It is comforting to know that I am not alone in the journey called life. God, I thank You that You are ever vigilant, watching over me, meeting with me in the morning, and abiding with me through the night. Even though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your name is Emmanuel--God with us--I am absolutely certain You are with me, You will never leave me or forsake me. May I always respond to Your voice and stay close to You. I gladly follow You as You call my name! In Your mighty Name Above All Names--Good Shepherd, we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on John 10:11 Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on 
John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on 
John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive