The Bible depicts the church in many different ways, including a family and a place for fellowship, but it is also a flock.
Psalm 100:3 – Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
John 10:10 – “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. (Verse 11) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (Verse 12) “But he who is a hireling and not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
(Verse 13) “The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. (Verse 14) “I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
Sheep can’t do much without a shepherd.
A good shepherd provides.
Psalm 23:1 – The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (The word “want” in the Hebrew means “lack.” I shall not lack.) (Verse 2) He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (Verse 3) He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The Lord is a shepherd so He’s a provider. He always provides what we need. The Jews wanted a political leader, but they needed a Savior. The first step in believing He’s our provider is bringing the tithe to the house of God. Under, “He’s a provider,” is “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.”
Green pastures and still waters: Every believer’s life should be characterized by these two things: Contentment and peace! Green pastures for sheep would be contentment. And still waters represent peace. We sit by the still waters in worship and eat from the green pastures during the Word. This is one of the reasons why we attend church.
“He makes me lie down.” Has God ever had to make you lie down? Are you a person that always has to be doing something? Do you always have to be busy? It’s alright to stop and be still by still waters. It’s alright to do nothing once in a while and just take in calmness.
“He restores my soul.” Our mind, will, and emotions. When something bad happens, we can be crushed. It’s the Lord that restores our soul, mind, will, and emotions from the stress.
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” We’re put in right standing through grace, but I also want to walk in right standing with God. I want to be pleasing to the Lord, don’t you? I need His leading and guidance.
Shepherds don’t “drive” sheep, they lead them. Yes, sometimes they herd them with sheepdogs, but the best way is to lead them. Did you know that each shepherd has a way of calling his own sheep? The sheep will only follow the voice they know. And Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice!” His true sheep will only follow Him.
A good shepherd protects the flock.
Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Verse 5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Death is the biggest fear of humans. Jesus takes the biggest fear we have an annihilates it. Why? Because He conquered death at the cross!
Jesus is with us in the battle.
“For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Why would His rod and staff comfort us? Because He doesn’t use His rod and His staff on us! He doesn’t hit the sheep. He hits the wolf, the enemy! What’s the wolf afraid of? He’s afraid of the shepherd. He’s not afraid of us. A wolf is not afraid of the sheep. He’s afraid of the Shepherd and that’s why we stay right beside the Shepherd and don’t wander off!
He blesses us in the battle.
Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; We would prefer that He prepares a table for us “after” He kills our enemies. However, He does it while in the presence of them. Why? Because He’s not afraid of the enemy. And sometimes He calms the turmoil around us and sometimes He just calms the sheep.
He refreshes us in the battle.
(Verse 5) You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. The effects of oil represent two things in Scripture: refreshing and strength. The Holy Spirit refreshes us and strengthens us! In the midst of the battle, we are refreshed and strengthened. Jesus fills us until it runs over!
(Verse 6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell int the house of the LORD forever.
Goodness, mercy, and eternal life. These are promises from the Lord. That is what our Shepherd promises every believer. In Hebrew, the word follow means “Chase!” Surely goodness and mercy shall “chase” me! God’s goodness and mercy will catch you if you just stop running.
1 John 2:25 – And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.
Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Ezekiel 34:12 – “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.”
Think about that verse: Do you remember in Scripture that it said how dark it got the day Jesus was crucified? The Good Shepherd gave his life for the scattered sheep on a cloudy and dark day! Amen!!