Summary: We can have a shepherding ministry under Christ as we lead, feed and tend other sheep.
1. Elohim—Creator God (All-powerful Creator).
2. Jehovah—LORD, Covenant Keeper (Self-existent One).
3. Adonai—Lord, Master (Lord, our Master).
1. The LORD is my shepherd, Jehovah Roi. Jehovah (LORD) means “covenant keeping,” and Roi refers to “care, watchfulness, and concern.”
2. First Bible reference to God as a shepherd, “The God which fed [shepherded] me all my life long” (Gen. 48:15).
3. Sheep are ignorant, directionless and selfish. People are like sheep (Isa. 53:6; Ps. 14:2-3).
C. EIGHT ACTIONS OF MY JEHOVAH-SHEPHERD
1. Protection. Jehovah Roi. “The LORD is my shepherd” (Ps. 23:1).
He (and anyone He has commissioned to pastor/teach in the Church) shepherds us by:
b. Feeding, teaching (John 21:17; Eph. 4:11-13).
2. Daily provision. Jehovah-Jireh (“the LORD shall provide”), “I shall not want” (Ps. 23:1).
a. The LORD provided a lamb for Abraham (Gen. 22:14).
b. God provided Himself through His Son Jesus Christ (Zech. 12:10; John 1:29; 3:16).
3. Upset. Jehovah Shalom (“the LORD [our] Peace”), “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Ps. 23:2).
a. When Gideon faced a challenge, he discovered God as Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:2 24).
b. Gideon gave Jehovah a new name (v. 24).
4. Hurt/sick. Jehovah Raphe (the LORD [our] Healer), “He restoreth my soul” (Ps. 23:3). Israel needed healing from the LORD (Ex. 15:26).
a. At Marah the waters needed healing (vv. 22-25).
b. We sometimes need physical, mental and spiritual healing.
(1) Preventive healing (v. 25).
(2) Corrective healing (v. 26).
5. Guilt. Jehovah Tsidkenu (the LORD our Righteousness), “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness” (Ps. 23:3).
a. We deserve the judgment or punishment of hell (see John 3:36; Rom. 6:23).
b. Through the LORD our Righteousness, we receive mercy, grace and righteousness (Ps. 103:4; Jer. 23:6; Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 1:4).
6. Fear. Jehovah Nissi (the LORD my Banner), “Though I walk through the valley of death thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4).
a. The banner or flag was held high in battle.
b. The LORD was with Israel in their battle against Amalek (Ex. 17:8-15).
c. They needed:
(1) Faith to obey the Lord (v. 9)
(2) Player as Moses held up his hand (v. 11)
(3) Human ability to fight (vv. 9, 13)
(4) Persistence to hold up Moses’ hands (v. 12)
7. Lonely. Jehovah Shammah (the LORD is there), “Thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4; Ezek. 48:35).
a. Rod was used as a club to beat off wild animals. The staff was a crook that rescued sheep in trouble.
b. Believers are comforted by the Good Shepherd’s rod and staff (Ps. 110:2, refers to the gospel; Heb. 12:5-11; 1 Pet. 2:25; Matt. 18:11-14).
8. Sinful. Jehovah Mekaddishkhem (the LORD that sanctifies), “Thou anointest my head with oil” (Ps. 23:5; Ex. 31:13).
a. Oil is used to clean, heal, soothe and replenish. It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 16:13; Isa. 61:1; Acts 10:38).
b. God meets the needs of moral or spiritual uncleanness and defilement (Phil. 4:13; 1 John 2:1-2; 3:2).
D. JESUS IS OUR JEHOVAH ROI
1. Jesus gives us shepherd’s care (John 10:3-4, 10-11).
2. We can have a shepherding ministry under Christ as we lead, feed and tend other sheep (Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:24-25).
Psalm 23 describes different aspects of the relationship between the LORD and His sheep.
1. Which relationship is most meaningful to you? Why?
2. Which relationship do you need to develop?
3. How will you do it?
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu