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What's in a Name Part Fourteen

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 30, 2015

RELIGION – This weeks name of God is one of the most common names that we speak of, but I will use the Hebrew because it sounds really cool and spiritual, Yahweh Rohi. It is the LORD is my Shepherd. It is taken right from the 23rd Psalm.

We know that it was David who wrote the 23rd Psalm. He knew all about shepherding and sheep.

Before his encounter with Goliath, King Saul counseled David that he was too young to go out against this giant Philistine but David said to Saul: "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it." (I Samuel 17:34-35)

David is making it clear that when he was out as the shepherd of his flocks, he was completely responsible for their well being and safety. He had to find good pasture, still water (sheep are afraid of running noisy streams and will sometimes drink nasty polluted water), care, discipline, and protection from every type of danger and wild animal attack. So when David speaks of the Lord as his shepherd he is saying that he fully understands and calls upon the Lord to fully and completely take care of him.

The life of sheep in the care of a good shepherd is great. They are totally safe. They are free from worry, they can graze happily, and they can rest and sleep without thought of being some predator’s lunch. If they wander a bit too far from the flock, they can count on the shepherd's staff to rein them back in. They know they are being kept watch over continuously and that he knows each of them by name.

If you are a Christian, then please keep in your heart that Jesus said of himself: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep" (John 10:11) and He further adds that “I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by my own." (John 10:14)

So when we take Psalm 23 and Jesus’ words from John 10 we should be free from worry. This is easier typed than practiced. I am worried about something right now, but I am trying to keep these thoughts in the forefront of my mind. We should also be free to live! We can love others and not worry if they love us back, the Good Shepherd has shown us His love by laying down His life for us!

We can be generous with our resources (time, money, and abilities) because when they are used for Christ, He will abundantly give us all we need! We must be attentive for correction, if we stray from the shepherd He may use the crook to bring us back into the fold and it may not be pleasant, but it is for our good and health! Finally, we point others to the shepherd, we are limited in what we can offer a friend, but Jesus is not. When seeking to help someone, embedding their life into the life of Christ is the greatest thing we can do!

Take a few minutes today to read Psalm 23 and think about the LORD as your Shepherd.  He can bless and comfort you today.

Pastor Phillip

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