Our Ever-Present Shepherd
A favorite Scripture passage for many of us is Psalm 23, which begins: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (verses 1–3). We love that. It’s such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.
But it isn’t a compliment when God compares us to sheep. Sheep are some of the dumbest animals on the face of the earth. If God had compared us to dolphins, that would have been great. Dolphins are super smart. If God had compared us to dogs, even that would have been a compliment. But God compared us to sheep.
Sheep are stupid. Sheep tend to run with the pack. Sheep have no defense mechanisms. Sheep can’t even escape from a predator. Sheep are basically leg of lamb in waiting—all that is needed is the mint jelly. It’s a done deal. Sheep need their shepherd. If the shepherd doesn’t come through for them, they are dead. We are like that too.
We love to read that the Lord is our Shepherd and that He makes us to lie down in green pastures and leads us beside the still waters. But Psalm 23 goes on to say, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (verse 4).
We love the green pastures and the still waters, but we don’t like valleys—especially if they have the word death attached to them. Yet as David pointed out, the Lord is the Shepherd who was with him. And He is the Shepherd who is with us too.