Jehovah- raah: the Lord my Shepherd
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1
What does it mean for the Lord to be my shepherd? We don't really have much concept of this because, let's be honest, most of us don't have sheep. But when this was written, the analogy would have meant a lot to the people reading it. God refers to us as sheep a lot. "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). "My sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27). "We are... the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 100:3). "I will... both search my sheep, and seek them out" (Ezekiel 34:11). Sheep are some of the dumbest animals. They need a shepherd to keep them in line. Without a shepherd, they will literally wander right off the side of a mountain. They easily become victims to predators and are defenseless. They are 100% dependent on their shepherd. The better the shepherd, the healthier the sheep.
Jesus uses sheep and shepherd in the parable in John 10. Part of a precept study is focusing on a couple major things in a passage.
sheep: only listen to their shepherd's voice. follow the shepherd wherever he leads. need the shepherd to function.
shepherd: knows his sheep by name. leads them. goes ahead of them. lays down his life for his sheep. doesn't run from trouble.
thief: doesn't enter through the gate. comes to steal, kill, and destroy. abandons the sheep.
I know that I need Jesus. I have known that I needed him since I was 7 years old. But the more I know Him, the more I become painfully aware of how human I am and, consequently, how much I really need Him. I need Him to even get up in the morning. I need Him to guide me through the day. I need Him to tell me where to go and when and how to get there and what to do when I do get there. I cannot do it without Him. It's such a simple concept, but so hard to actually do sometimes. Ok, a lot of times. For me at least. I want to plan. If I'm honest, I basically want to tell God how we are going to do it sometimes. And every time I do that He throws all of those plans out the window. The best part is this: when the Lord is my shepherd, my Jehovah- raah, I shall not want. I will find contentment. Satisfaction. Peace. That is what I really want.