8. JEHOVAH-ROHI: “Jehovah, my shepherd.”

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want Ps. 23:1.

MEANING: Companion, friend, to cherish, to feed or lead, to guide and direct and instruct.

The title SHEPHERD shows us that God is able to condescend to a relationship with mortal, sinful creatures whom He has redeemed. It suggests a one-on-one relationship to feed us and keep us as His inheritance 2 Sam. 7:8; Ps. 78:70-72.

Shepherding has not changed much in Palestine. A Palestinian shepherd lives with his animals night and day, establishing true intimacy with them. He calls each one by name, and they, knowing his voice and responding only to his call, follow him. By sleeping in the makeshift sheepfold, he protects the sheep from thieves and from preying animals who would devour them at night. The sheep sense his watchfulness and fear no evil. He provides pasture and water for them even in the wilderness.

If there can exist such a tender intimacy between a man and his sheep, how much more so between Jehovah and man, whom He Himself created?

What a marvelous thing that God should offer Himself in such a relationship.

This portrays how we are in the shadow of our Father’s loving care, watchful protection, and strong defense. He truly keeps us from all evil. He never slumbers nor sleeps. He is attached and devoted to us and protects our lives from perils and pitfalls.

God is an intensely personal Shepherd. He knows each one of us individually.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd who came to gently lead us. He qualified himself to become the Great Shepherd by first becoming a lamb, thus entering intimately into every experience and need of a sheep.


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