“The Lord is my shepherd…”
Psalm 23, is my one of my favorite Psalms for two reasons. It was the first passage of Psalms I memorized and my favorite Sunday school teacher coached me through memorizing it.
It was fifth grade Sunday school, her name was Mary, just like mine, but not once did I call her “Ms. Mary”. I called her Grandmother. She is my good friends’ grandmother and that’s how I knew her before she was my Sunday school teacher. I grew up calling her “Grandmother” and haven’t stopped. Old habits die hard. Grandmother Mary taught me the 23rd Psalm and I have never grasped the truth of this verse till this past summer; some nine years later.
My fave subject in school is English, which you would know if you have been following my blog for a while. In English, you diagram sentences. Some of you, may be like one of my friends who hate diagraming sentences with a deep burning passion of hatred. Or you can be like me and love it with a deep burning love. When I first decided to talk about Psalm 23:1, as a Scripture reference, I mentally diagramed it. I didn’t even know I was going to talk about diagraming sentences in this post, but it works. I mentally diagram sentences all the time, now that I think about it. To diagram any sentence, take out the subject and the verb.
When I mentally diagramed the sentence I thought that SHEPHERD would be the direct object and MY, the indirect object. Then I remember this other action a noun can be, a predicate nominative. A predicate nominative renames the subject, whatever the subject is. So then my diagram looked like this,
If shepherd renames the subject, Lord=shepherd and shepherd=Lord.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”~ John 10:11
It clearly states God as the good shepherd. And that the good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep. If God/ Jesus is the good shepherd means that we, His creations are His sheep. Shepherds and sheep go together like coffee and cream. I like my coffee with cream. If I have a cup without cream it’s too bitter for me. Just how life will be like without the Good Shepherd, bitter, like coffee without cream. Life would be a living Hell, quite literally, if you wander away from the shepherd’s protective arms. If we were to wander away from the shepherd, we would have a very hard life. That is why sheep need to stay with the shepherd.
This summer I went to Highschool camp with my church in Sevierville, Tennessee. Our host, Ben Crawshaw, spoke about sheep and shepherd and gave reasons why the sheep need to stay with the shepherd.
“Sheep are prone to wander off.”
Sheep ARE going to wander off, you let a lamb out of the pen and they will find some mischief to get into. Just like humans. We are prone to wander off the straight and narrow when we are faced with temptations. If we give into that temptation, we turn away from God. Or wander.
“Sheep have no way to defend themselves.”
Sheep aren’t known for their karate skills, they have no way to defend themselves. Humans however can take a karate course and go through shotgun training then we have a way to defend ourselves from creepers. But there is one we cannot defend ourselves against. The power of Satan and his demons. When we wander away from the shepherd we are open to more tempting and more sins to make. If we stay in the flock the shepherd will protect us from the lion and wolves of life.
“Sheep are not smart animals.”
That is a nice way of saying stupid. I start 4-H showing a Market Lamb, which meant I had sheep in my backyard. Honestly from all my years working with sheep, I have discovered that they are stupid, plain and simple. Now, I love sheep. If someone offered me a pair of lambs right now, I would take them. Sheep are my second favorite animal, I love ‘em!! We sometimes are not smart with the decisions we make, sometimes the decisions we make are not the wisest decisions and can be categorized as stupid.
In Matthew 25:31-46 says,
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. ‘Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? ‘And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. ‘
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. ‘Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? ‘Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. ‘And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
I think it is appropriate that Matthew compares us to sheep and goats. It’s a case of dumb and dumber. Dumber being the goats, because they didn’t stay with the shepherd, just wandered off and didn’t come back to the flock. Dumb being the sheep, they did wander but always found their way back to the flock and the shepherds arms.
If you didn’t get anything out of this post I hope you get this,
“If the sheep stay at the shepherd’s side, those lambs will get the gift of eternal life.”
Hope you enjoyed reading this post, I had a lot of fun writing it.