Summary: This message focuses on Jesus being our Shepherd and what this actually means.
This morning my message is titled “JEHOVAH-ROHI which means “The Lord Is My Shepherd” and is a continuation of the series I started a few weeks ago. If you recall, in my first message we examined Psalm 23 where David expressed his gratitude and understanding of God being his shepherd and therefore he had everything that he needed and was in need of nothing. I told you that Psalm 23 gave an excellent overview of some of the names and/or attributes of God as the Hebrew understood Him. In my message three weeks ago, I told you about JEHOVAH-JIREH (which means The Lord Will Provide.) I told you that the name JEHOVAH meant “I AM” and that God was self-existent and that JIREH stress that He would provide all that we need. In that message I used the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac in proof of his love for God. I shared with you that although on the surface the request seemed cruel it was something that God had already decided to do with His own Son. Remember, after Adam and Eve sinned, God made the decision with Jesus’ agreement to send His only Son to be a sacrifice for man’s sin. He did this because of His love for mankind. God provided for us 2000 years before we ever came into existence and continues to provide for us. I asked you to make this statement every morning and night “I AM will provide today!”
This morning I want you to share with you JEHOVAH-ROHI, the Lord is My Shepherd. If you recall from the first three verses of Psalm 23, it states “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters; He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3) These three verses spell out in examples what the name JEHOVAH-ROHI means. The name gives the understanding that the Lord provides, directs, leads, and cares for His people. God tenderly takes care of us as a strong and patient shepherd. This week I want you to say every day – “I AM will provide for me because I Am is my shepherd!” Say it like you mean it and by the end of the week you will! Turn with me to Isaiah 53.
I. Sheep Gone Astray
Have you ever heard the term “backsliding Christians”? This term is used to define a Christian who has “lost” their way. They have slid back into their old ways of doing things. Let me see if I can give you a visual of what this looks like. Imagine driving your car up a hill the next day after a snow storm. During the snow storm cars were driving along the road packing down the snow and causing it to turn to slush. During the night when there was little to no traffic, the slush froze and became a sheet of ice with some snow mixed it. The next morning you’re driving up the hill and you hit the ice. All of a sudden, your wheels are spinning and you’re not moving. As soon as you let up off the gas and put your brakes on, you start sliding back down the hill. If you’re lucky you do not slid all the way down and your tires grad hold and you start back up. But oftentimes what happens is you keep sliding backwards until you hit something that stops you. This is the image of a Christian who has backslidden. They were making progress and then for some reason they stalled in their relationship with Christ and then started going backwards.
In Isaiah chapter fifty-three, Isaiah opens the chapter by describing the life of Christ. He describes Him as no one that people would take notice of and He would be one that people despised. He states that Jesus would be acquainted with grief and sorrows describing Him as the suffering servant. Let’s pick up the chapter in verse four. “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5) Remember what the name JEHOVAH-ROHI means – The Lord is my shepherd? In application it means that He protects, provides, directs, leads and cares for His people. This is what Jesus did when He took everything from us and placed it on His own shoulders. He took all of our sins and the punishment which accompanied it and placed it on Himself. He did this to protect us from the penalty of sin which is death but also to make provisions for us while we live here on this earth. The sixth verse records the following: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6)