Today's Devotional Thought
January 14, 2010 by Wendy Foreman
David wrote many of the Psalms and we know that David was a shepherd in his early years. He was writing these verses out of his own experience. Shepherds guide, protect, and provide for their sheep. The sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd. What a beautiful word to describe our Savior.
We see in the New Testament that Jesus is called the good shepherd (John 10:11) and the great shepherd (Hebrews 13:20). There is this picture that we are his sheep, following him, and being obedient. God is the good shepherd and he does lead us in the paths of righteousness. You see, God has a path for each of us in life. And, when we allow Him to guide us, we find true contentment.
However, it should also be noted that we have free will and we can make our own choices. But, when we make choices that go against God and we sin, we can not blame God for the mess that we have made. God is love and He will forgive and lovingly help us back onto the right path in life. Let me pause here and say though that sometimes because of bad choices we can experience bad consequences that stay with us. Getting back on the right path does not mean that everything will be perfect. It just means that we think twice and ask God for his direction and guidance the next time we are to make a decision. God is faithful and He will always be there for us!
The scripture tells us that he makes us to lie down in green pastures, and leads us beside quiet waters and restores our soul. When I think of green pastures and quiet waters, I think of times of being still and connecting with God. Everyday, we face challenges in our home, in our workplace, in relationships, and sometimes even in our churches. Because of these challenges we can become weary, discouraged and lonely. But, it is then that God leads us to green pastures and quiet waters. And, while we are there, he refreshes us and restores us and strengthens us to face another day.
I can not stress enough how important it is to have time with the Lord everyday! When we are obedient to the Lord and follow Him, He will lead us to where and what is best for us. Rebelling against the Shepherd’s leading is really rebelling against what is in our best interest.
In the middle of these verses, we read about the valley of the shadow of death. This is the part of the verse that possibly scares us. We have no control over death. We are completely powerless over it. We can face many things in life that are painful, but when it comes to death we can not overcome it, it has the last word. There is only one person who can walk with us through that deep dark valley and that is our shepherd. We don’t know when we will be faced with death, we need to be certain that we are walking with our shepherd; he is the one who can offer us eternal comfort.
The end of these scriptures promises us that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I love the ending! This is a beautiful picture of our shepherd leading us home at last. This brings that promise to completion. We will have been protected and guided to our eternal home by our shepherd.
I have loved looking at this wonderful passage of scripture and plan to continue to study it even deeper. We have a shepherd who is lovingly leading us, guiding us and protecting us all along life’s journey. Take time today to be still along those quiet waters and allow him to refresh and restore your soul.