Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd”
[Five short words that hold infinite grace. You, Lord God, are the Holy, Pure and Triune One, utterly other, totally Just and the Punisher of sin–yet you decisively and wholeheartedly chose to make yourself the Shepherd of rebels.
We are by nature the antithesis of you: finite, sinful, polluted through and through, nurturers of negatives, lovers of lusts. Yet you were willing to stoop down, to reach into this sin-soaked, iniquity-infused, evil-endowed world and make yourself Shepherd to your saved, yet selfish sheep.
We, in our old nature, deserve only condemnation, suffering, punishment, despair, hopelessness, meaninglessness and eternal banishment from your presence and all good.
But, in your magnanimous love and in your gracious goodness, you have offered to all and granted to those who respond, the right to become the children of God. And with that right, you have also granted us a whole host of privileges, at the top of which is, having you be our Shepherd.
A good shepherd is consistently and intimately involved in the lives of his sheep, aware of all that is happening, providing all that is needed for their health, protection and prospering. The sheep don’t choose their shepherd, the shepherd chooses his sheep. So have you chosen to be our good Shepherd.
You have made a total commitment to our good: patiently and persistently guiding, providing and protecting us. You do this even though we daily grieve you with our rebellious love for sin, our stubborn selfishness and our unholy focus on things rather than relationships.
Because you are good, we can be sure, on a moment by moment basis, of your faithfulness, of your goodness, of your wisdom, of your grace, of your power at work in our lives–no matter what failure there may be on our part.
As the Psalmist, Asaph, wrote, “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory” (Ps. 73:21-24).
We praise you that you have chosen to be our Shepherd. Help us to follow you faithfully, trusting your Truth, obeying your wisdom, submitting to your shepherding moment by moment today and always.]