The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3, NKJV) 

Several years ago, a friend and I took a driving tour through Scotland. Friends from that lovely country drove us, so we were able to just be tourists instead of worrying about maps and directions. By the end of the week, I’m certain the couple thought me strange if not downright crazy. Whenever we passed a field with grazing sheep, I wanted to stop and take photos. It was a common sight for them, but not for this city girl. Perhaps I was also remembering all those Bible passages I’d read about shepherds and sheep.

How old were you when you first memorized Psalm 23? Most of us can recite this well-known passage word-for-word. King David, who had been a shepherd long before he became a king, starts this psalm by saying the Lord is his shepherd, showing a personal, loving relationship.

David wasn’t the first or only one to compare the Lord to a shepherd. From Genesis to Revelation, this image is used in the Bible. On his deathbed Jacob spoke confidently of “the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day” (Genesis 48:15, ESV).  In John 10, Jesus declares Himself “the good shepherd,” one who is willing to give His life for His sheep. The closing book of the Bible tells us for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters (Revelation 7:17, NKJV).

Sheep are completely dependent upon their shepherd. He is the one who finds good pastures and water to drink. He leads them on the right path. He watches over and protects them from predators. He cares for them when they are injured and searches for them when they are lost.

Isaiah 40:11 shows us a loving picture of how a good shepherd interacts with his flock. In this verse, however, the meaning is even richer because it speaks of God’s care for us, His flock.

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.” (NKJV)

In the well-known parable of the lost sheep (Matthew 18 and Luke 15), the shepherd willingly leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one lone sheep that is lost. He knew it was not safe alone and could become injured or be attacked by wild animals. The shepherd knew his sheep and cared about each one’s safety. Our Good Shepherd cares even more deeply about us and is not willing to see any of us lost.

“Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14, NKJV)

Take a few moments today to read and reflect upon Psalm 23. It is more than just a beautiful piece of poetry. It is a reminder of the faithful love and care of our Good Shepherd. As David declared, “I shall not want.” Our faithful, loving God provides our every need. He will not abandon us to the harsh elements of the world. He will not forsake us in the dry, lonely places along our journey. He knows each of us by name, and He truly cares for us. He restores our soul. We have nothing to fear while under His protection.

Thank you, Lord, for the loving care You give me each day. You protect me, guide me, and rescue me when I wander from the safe path. You are my loving Shepherd.


Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.


  1. This portion speaks to me. “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” His name…to keep His name Holy, He gentle leads me to keep my heart right…I pray daily… Lord, keep me in right standing with You.