In Chapter 15 we learned about Jehovah-raah - the Lord my Shepherd.
Before we get started I want to ask you a question... "Do you follow or listen to strangers?" I know it seems like an odd question now - but just put it on the side burner and we'll address it again in a moment.
Have you ever pictured yourself as a sheep - needing a shepherd? If not, I hope this chapter did not insult you. If you have, then you probably found a lot of comfort knowing all the things that our Shepherd - our Jehovah-raah does for us!!!
Kay uses 2 focal passages for our study on Jehovah-raah.
1. Psalm 23
2. John 10:1-17, 26-33
I want to encourage you to go and read them both now before continuing on - even for this blog study!
From the very beginning of Psalm 23 - starting in verse 1, we see Jehovah-raah.
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
My friends - we are the sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd. "What makes the difference in sheep is the shepherd" - says Kay.
We're going to spend some more time with Psalm 23 in a moment, but for now turn to the John passage - John 10.
Kay had us mark key words - we had to do this on our own! Yikes! So which words did you mark?
I marked the following: door, sheep/flock, voice, thief/robber, shepherd
I loved learning about all of these. Make a list of all that you learned about these different characters.
Here are some of my favorites:
The Shepherd - calls my name, leads me out, sacrifices His life for me
The Sheep - knows the shepherd's voice, follows the shepherd, will NOT follow a stranger and actually flees from him.
The thief/robber - does things their own way, comes only to steal, kill, and destroy
I love that my Lord knows my name - calls me and leads me!! But He does so much more than that! Let's read on....
Kay showed us that found in Psalm 23 are all the things that a Shepherd will do. There are many of them found here - but let's just focus on the first one - He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
Oh, to take a nap in a green pasture! I can picture it now. But I wonder, if given the opportunity, would I really be able to rest.
Have you ever gone to bed and not been able to sleep because your mind was racing - or worrying?
Kay points out that there are four things that must be true before a sheep can rest....
1. Sheep must be free from hunger. The Shepherd must provide good pastures for them.
2. Sheep must be free from fear. Sheep are timid and defenseless - they can only rest if they know they are being protected.
3. Sheep must be free from friction. Tension with other sheep keeps them on their feet.
4. Sheep must be free from pests. Flies can get inside a sheep's nose and can ultimately cause their death if not cleaned and protected by the Shepherd's oil.
I hope that you see the benefit of calling the Lord your Jehovah-raah. That He is a God who feeds you, protects you, helps you handle the points of friction in your life, and heals you of your sores and pests.
The best news of all regarding Jehovah-raah is found in Psalm 23:6
"Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."