Jehovah Rohi – The Lord is My Shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

It is this name Jehovah Rohi that we find the most endearing picture of our Lord and Savior. The meaning of the Hebrew word Rohi is “to feed” or “lead to pasture.” The metaphor of God as a shepherd who leads His sheep to pasture where they will surely find good food and rest is a comfort to the wandering soul. It is the call that Jesus gives as a promise that if we come unto Him we will find rest. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) It is the picture that we are His and He will lead us to the everlasting pasture of the Promised Land. God is the Shepherd of His people.

In the Old Testament Jehovah Rohi, the Lord is my Shepherd is the God that leads His people. The Lord led His people out of Egypt the land of bondage through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Along the way He cared for them, He protected them from their enemies, He feed them with manna from Heaven and gave them water from the Rock, and He brought them safely through the Jordan River on dry land. The Lord is the Shepherd of His people. “Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!” (Psalm 80:1)

God is our mighty shepherd that is able to provide for us. He will feed us and provide for our physical, mental, and spiritual hunger. He will satisfy our thirst and hunger for right living in His righteousness. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

God is our shepherd that seeks the ones who have gone astray. “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) For a time each of us have strayed from the sheep fold and some of us have never entered in. God our Shepherd knows His sheep and seeks those who have gone astray. “What do you think? If any 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?” (Matthew 18:12)

We are safe in the hand of our Shepherd and no matter what comes into our path He will lead us to the cleft of the Rock which is our refuge. “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28) The Adversary will try to distract us with the fool’s gold and gloomy spender of this world. Our Good Shepherd will seek us out and bring us back in from the dark into the safety of His sheep fold. “For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. “As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

We are the Lord’s sheep. Once by His creation and some of us twice by His redemption. We are His by His creation and we are living in His creation. All that there is was created by His Word and all is subject to His Word and all is maintained by His Word. Therefore all are His sheep. “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (Psalm 100:3)

We are His by His redemption as He redeemed us from the bondage of sin at the price of His Son’s life on the cross of Calvary. We have been purchased by His blood and belong to Him. “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) Now though we once were astray we have been reconciled unto God through His Son Jesus that we may be under the care of the watchful Good Shepherd who guards our spirits. “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25)

David the Shepherd King wrote one of the most known Psalm the Shepherd’s Psalm. “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. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23) This is a beautiful picture of our Good Shepherd.

We shall not be in want of rest, not be in want of refreshment, not be in want of forgiveness, not be in want of guidance, not be in want of companionship, not be in want of comfort, not be in want of sustenance, not be in want of joy, not in want of anything in this life, and not in want of the life to come. Our Good Shepherd is the one who protects us, the One who directs us, and the One who provides for us. There is nothing more that I want than to serve my Good Shepherd.

Jesus Christ the Son of God is our Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” (Isaiah 40:11) Jesus came not to judge us but to save us, He came as the servant of mankind. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) And Jesus the Good Shepherd is coming again to take His sheep home to be with Him in His Father’s House. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” (1 Peter 5:4)

Till then let us heed the voice of our Good Shepherd and do the good work that He has equip us to do for the glory of the Father that the Kingdom of Heaven may be filled with all that have been numbered. “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, February 9, 2016

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