The Great I Am:
Jehovah Roi – The Lord is My SHEPHERD
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Hermaile’s my heart. O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let they goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Have you ever noticed how often the Bible likens us to sheep? Sheep are mentioned in the Bible 400+ times (including the term “flocks”), making them the most commonly referred to animal in the Scriptures. Perhaps you’ve wondered … why not be compared to something impressive like the awe-inspiring lion or the majestic eagle?
However, when we look into the traits of sheep, we discover that they more accurately reflect the condition of mankind.
Webster’s dictionary defines sheep as “timid and defenseless creatures.” Look at the following traits that characterize sheep:
– Defenseless in the face of enemies
– Difficult to train
– Lack a sense of direction
– Have poor vision / audition
– Prone to stray away from the flock
– Have little strength
– Easily frightened or disturbed
– Follow one another even at the expense of leading the others astray
There have been recorded instances where hundreds of sheep, to the shock of their shepherds, have plunged to their deaths after following each other walk over cliff edges.
At one point while reading that list, you probably thought to yourself, “Hey, that describes me!” Like the author of the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” you know the tendency of the heart to wander away from God.
In Isaiah 53:6, we read:
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Like sheep, we’d rather be in control and follow our own ways that seem right in our eyes, not realizing that we walk down a road that ends in death (Proverbs 16:25).
Scripture says that we are like sheep. We’ve learned that sheep left on their own cannot take care of themselves and would fall prey to all sorts of danger.
When we understand the characteristics, weaknesses and needs of sheep, we get to realize our great need for The Good Shepherd.
When David writes the “Lord is my Shepherd,” he speaks of a relationship with a God who is personal, intimate, and cares for the concerns of His flock. He is not someone who is far away and distant but rather, knows His sheep by name. When sheep encounter dangerous predators, the Shepherd, whose eyes never wander away from His flock, would willingly lay down his life to protect them.
Charles Spurgeon once wrote of The Good Shepherd:
Why doth he carry the lambs in his bosom? Because He hath a tender heart & any weakness at once melts His heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. It is His office, as a faithful High Priest, to consider the weak. Besides, He purchased them with blood, they are His property: He must & will care for that which cost Him so dear. Then He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one.
The Good Shepherd comforts, preserves, cares for, rescues, and watches over us whether we go through times of green pastures or trek through our darkest of valleys.
Psalms 100:3 reads:
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Our lives are filled with ups and down and times of tremendous changes. However, in the midst of our changing circumstances and proneness to wander away from Him who masterfully created us, He remains the Shepherd of our souls, the Bestower of grace that abounds.
How can you trust Him to lead, guide, and comfort you as your Shepherd this week?