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Psalm 23 — I

I am the good shepherd — John 10:14

I know very little about sheep; I grew up on a chicken farm, tending and taking care of them. Just down the road from where we lived, our neighbor had a small flock of sheep. The barn where they stayed at night, was very close to the road. When they were left out to graze on the hillside, they mostly came out in single file. Sheep have a tendency to be followers, not thinking too much on their own.

In John 10:14, Jesus says He is the good shepherd. He said the same thing in John 10:11. Jesus was very quick to use an opportunity as an object lesson or to teach some theological truth; here are a few examples. In John 6:35, after He had given the people bread to eat, He made the statement, “I am the bread of life.” Then in verse 4 He says, “I am the bread of life which came down from heaven.” In verse 48 He says, “I am the bread of life.” Then in John 7:58 Jesus simply says, “I Am,” referring to Himself as the same God who brought the Jewish people out of Egypt, Exodus 3:14.

Then in John 10:7-9 Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep.” In verse 9 He again says, “I am the door.” Then in verse 11 and 14 Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” He tells the Jews in John 10:36 that the Father sanctified Him (set Him apart, appointed Him for the job) and sent Him into the world. Part of His task was to lead His people, to shepherd them.

In Psalm 23 David says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (I shall not lack anything). “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” When I think of green pastures, I often remember the green hills and the little valley near Kellerville in springtime. In the morning, when the frost was heavy in the bottom of the valley, the sun would be shining on the tops of the hills, bringing the wild flowers to life. The warmth of the sun and the abundant moisture would cause the grass and wild garlic to thrive and grow.

Sometimes I would walk toward the top of the hill and sit down by an old rain shelter. When I was a child, I came to those shelters every evening to make sure the chickens were out of the trees and safely inside for the night. Now the warmth of the sun, smell of leaves, green grass, garlic, and moisture floating in the air, seemed to awaken my senses and give me an appreciation for the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.

Psalm 23:10 says, “He leads me beside still waters.” Still, quiet waters are much safer for humans and sheep than the swift, rushing waters of springtime. I can remember several times when I had to go into the stream and rescue some of our kids out of the fast current after they had fallen down. Still waters are better for sheep because they don’t get the water up into their nostrils.

Verse 3 says, “He restores my soul.” David gives the idea of something being replenished that had been depleted, or used up. The stress of this life can sometimes sap us of our strength, joy and vitality. God restores us to the point that the soul, breath, and inner being are rejuvenated.

Have you lost the spring in your step and your joy in the Lord? Call out to Him in prayer, spend time in His word and the fellowship of the saints, ask Him to lead you into green pastures for His name’s sake. Comments or questions, contact me at:

thoughtsonword@gmail.com.

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Lyndon Stimeling, of richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, common thoughts on the word in 2016 and eye of a needle in 2017 and common thoughts on the word ii in 2019. He has also had articles published in the coming home journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.




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