On the way to the library, we go down a road that takes us past a small farm where sheep are often grazing in the field. My children laugh, because I invariably start singing Handel’s, “He Shall Feed His Flock”. Every time. I can’t help it. Soon the spring lambs will be cavorting by their mothers in the new grass.
I have a little black book, faded with age and with yellowed pages. It is called, The Shepherd’s Psalm. It is written by that old saint of God, F.B. Meyer. I think it’s one of the loveliest books I own. My college aged son rescued it from the dumpster while cleaning out an old storage room at work. Here’s an excerpt from Meyer’s writing on Psalm 23, beginning with the first verse, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
…This Psalm—though old as the time when Homer sang, or Solon gave his laws, and though trodden by the myriads of men in every succeeding age—is as fresh today as though it were just composed. Precious words! They are the first taught to our children, and perhaps the Holy Child Himself first learned to repeat them in the old Hebrew tongue beside His mother’s knee in Nazareth; and they are amongst the last that we whisper in the ear of our beloved ones, standing in the twilight between the darkening day of earth and the breaking day of heaven. The sufferer in the sick chamber; the martyr at the stake; the soldier on his sentry duty; the traveler amid many perils; the Covenanter; the Huguenot; the Vaudois—these, and a multitude which no man can number, have found in these words a lullaby for fear, an inspiration to new life and hope. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”…
He (Jesus) has a shepherd’s heart, beating with pure and generous love that counted not His life-blood too dear a price to pay down as our ransom. He has a shepherd’s eye, that takes in the whole flock, and misses not even the poor sheep wandering away on the mountains cold. He has a shepherd’s faithfulness, which will never fail nor forsake, nor leave us comfortless, nor flee when He seeth the wolf coming. He has the shepherd’s strength, so that He is well able to deliver us from the jaw of the lion or the paw of the bear. He has a shepherd’s tenderness; no lamb so tiny that He will not carry it; no saint so weak that He will not gently lead; no soul so faint that He will not give it rest. He pities as a father. He comforts as a mother. His gentleness makes great. He covers us with His feathers, soft and warm and downy; and under His wings do we trust.
Ah! He has done more! “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way.” Punishment and disaster were imminent; but Jesus, from His throne in eternity, saw the danger and was filled with compassion for the multitudes which were as sheep not having a shepherd. Therefore, because He was the Shepherd, He offered to give His own life as the substitute; and God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Then was heard the terrible summons, “Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, against the Man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts; smite the Shepherd.” “He laid down His life for the sheep,” and thus redeemed the flock by the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant. Praise Him! Praise Him!
What a Shepherd! Under His watchful eye, we may always safely graze. Let this bring peace to your soul today, as it does mine.