Psalm 23: A Shepherd’s Rep

“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)

We’re looking at this sheep’s poem for a few days. He’s bragging about what a great shepherd he has. If you think about it, quality of life for a sheep pretty much comes down to how good (or how lousy) his shepherd is, right? Sheep just eat what’s there in front of them and wander around and then eat some more. Without a really good shepherd to manage, well, everything for them — they’re mutton chops.

sheep_350But the shepherd isn’t just working for the pure joy of being loved by the sheep. For one thing, we’re not so good at saying thanks. No, he’s also working because he has a reputation to protect. Everybody knows he’s the best shepherd there ever was. He protects that rep by treating us right.

So after a day on the hills leading us to the good grass — gotta love really choice grass, you know? — he brings us home on the right paths, the ones he knows we can walk on, the ones that go in the right direction, the ones that lead us to the next place he’ll take care of us.

Think: Do you ever think of God doing what He does for you for His own reputation? Does it change your reaction to His taking care of you if He does it to bring glory to His own name?

Pray: Thank God for leading you on righteous paths for His name’s sake.

Do: If you haven’t done so before, try to memorize this short psalm.