The Verse of the Day for March 17, 2016 is taken Psalm 23:1-3 in the Holman Standard Christian Bible, one of the most recognized and recited passages in the Old Testament:
[Psalm 23] [The Good Shepherd] [A Davidic psalm.] The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Additional specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be seen in the remaining verses of Psalm 23, one of my favorite psalms that I committed to memory as a youngster and a source from which I continue to draw strength:
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.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 was also the inspiration behind this brief reflective piece:
Grass green hillsides arch
and flow toward a quiet stream
where rest newborn lambs.
In the Gospel of John, we find seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree who he is and what he came to do. He speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11:
“I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
In John 10:14-15 he reiterates this point:
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
This indicates that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.
Listen to this dramatization of the words of Jesus Christ from John 10:1-18 with its references to the Good Shepherd:
The classic Don Moen composition also describes the Lord: “Like a shepherd, he leads us”: