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Follow the Shepherd

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; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of LORD forever. Psalms 23


Let’s face it, David was no stranger to sheep or being a shepherd. David’s picture of the LORD as a Shepard King couldn’t be more fitting. David describes the LORDS tools of protection (the rod) and direction (the staff) as comforts to him. This verse always paints a picture for me of what the sheep would look like without a shepherd. Without the direction of the shepherd the sheep would wander around aimlessly. Their instinct to herd will literally cause them to follow one another off cliffs. Without the direction of the shepherd the sheep may very well starve to death as they will be unable to locate good pasture. Sheep will eat poisonous food and run straight into the path of apex predators. Sheep are not the brightest crayon in the box; it’s funny to me how we are often compared to them in scripture.


We too have the tendency to wander; the farther we walk away from the Shepherd the more dangerous our reality becomes. Sometimes, we feel that we know a better way only to find ourselves lost and in more danger. Proverbs 14: 12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.” The good news is, we can return to green pasture anytime if only we chose to stop wandering and follow the direction of our Shepherd. When we follow the Shepherd, we will not be in want, we will not walk in fear, and we will rest in safety with goodness and mercy.


Jesus said in John 10: 14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” In John 10: 27-28 He said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Our Shepherd (Jesus) is the good Shepherd; He guarantees that no one can snatch us away from Him. Today, I will follow my Shepherd as He lays me down in green pastures. Today, I will not wander; I will dwell in His presence. I will follow the voice of the Shepherd I have come to know.


Marty Neal


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