King David wrote Psalm 23 by using his earlier experiences caring for sheep. King David understood what the role of a Shepherd to his sheep was, and used that analogy to compare what Jesus, the Good Shepherded does for His people.
What are sheep like?
Sheep are prone to predator attacks and cannot defend themselves, mainly because they have no defenses such as claws. Sheep are helpless creatures who cannot survive very long without a shepherd. Sheep are not very smart and get confused very easy. Sheep are known to wonder off away from the care and protection of their shepherd. Sheep are difficult to train. Sheep are easily frightened. The bottom line is that sheep will not survive very long without a shepherd guiding and protecting them.
What do Shepherd’s do?
Shepherds not only guide sheep along the right path but they defend them fiercely against dangerous predators. Shepherds also take care of sheep by feeding them and protecting them from threatening insects. A shepherd provides all that a sheep would need, all the sheep needs to do is follow the shepherd. A sheep only gets lost and in trouble when they wonder off. A shepherd will go after just one of his sheep that has wandered off.
Reflect and Ponder: Do you recognize that we are like sheep in need of a Shepherd? Do you allow the Good Shepherd to lead you or do you go on wondering your own way? What happens when you wonder off without The Shepherd leading you?
In a sheepfold, a shepherd functions as a door, letting the sheep in and protecting them. Jesus is the door for salvation. Some people do not like that Jesus is the door, the only way to access God; but He came to seek and save the lost and bring them back into the fold. Jesus said He laid down His life for His sheep, and He did by dying for the sins of the world. God is concerned about every human being that He created (He is not willing that not even one should perish, (2 Peter 3:9).
When we do come into the fold and the Good Shepherd’s care, He guides us not just in this life but into eternity. The Good Shepherd takes care of His flock under His watch, we are under His protection against the enemies that come against us. When we stray off, the Good Shepherd prods us gently back into the fold.
If you are going through a difficult time, write out all of Psalm 23 and place on your nightstand, read out loud every night before you go to bed. Psalm 23 is the most common scripture recited around the world, mainly because of the great comfort that it brings during distressing times, and a reminder that the Lord is our shepherd.
MEDITATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me. You prepare a table before my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
As for you, my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, you are men, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the inequity of us all to fall on Him.
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying.
I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.