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.