Jehovah Roi – The Lord Our Shepherd5 min read
Background / Significance
As our Shepherd, the Lord has given us keys in living lives of obedience. He shows us what it means to follow humbly as sheep; He shows us what it means to lead in godliness. In these verses, we see the simple implications of what it means to have the Lord Jesus as our Great Shepherd, both the responsibilities and privileges.
Psalm 23:1-6 “<A Psalm of David.> The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
John 10:4,5 “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (5) And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”
John 10:11-18 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
1Peter 2:21-25; 5:4 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (25) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls…. (5:4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
An Example to Follow – A Word to Leaders
The passages in 1 Peter are given context by the phrase “Hereunto ye were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps.” His example as Shepherd is meant to be taken by all those who will lead another in their spiritual life.
We learn first of all in Psalm 23 that a shepherd is a leader: the Lord always goes before His people, never letting them “blaze their own trail,” as it were. A shepherd must also be a supplier: a true spiritual shepherd is ready at all times to provide for the spiritual needs of those under his authority.
Further, we see in John that a shepherd must be personal. The Lord outright condemned those who were merely over the sheep because of the money and were willing to flee when the times became difficult. These are they which have no passion for the flock. A spiritual leader must be involved with his flock and be willing to defend them at all costs. Then finally, in 1 Peter 5, we see that a shepherd is responsible to feed the flock. If the people of God suffer spiritual fatigue, the overseers must be ready and prepared to supply for that need. Do we have a shepherd’s heart? Would we be responsible if the Lord brought one who needed spiritual help? Christ is our Example; we must follow it.
Following our Example – A Word to Followers
When it comes to being a follower of Christ, we must also take care that we know what submission is. In John 10:4, the Lord gave us a four-point guide for what it means to follow Him. Salvation: “When He puts forth His own sheep.” Guidance: “He goes before them.” Earnest obedience: “His sheep follow Him.” Advanced Communion: “They know His voice.” Sadly, so many are stuck at the first step. They are saved, but they don’t recognize God’s guidance, even when it is clearly laid out in Scripture. These are they who are still “milk-drinkers” as it were, and they spend several years not advancing for the Lord. Why? Because they don’t get into the Word of God. Being a babe in Christ is supposed to be an extremely temporary condition; we must move forward. And when we see His guidance, we must respond in obedience and learn to recognize His voice. Of course, that will never happen if we don’t even seek to hear it. As sheep of His pasture, we have a huge responsibility before God. Thankfully, we can look to Him for guidance, for He is the Good Shepherd Who went so far even to give His life for His sheep.