The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
One of the most well-known and beloved passages of the Bible, this “Shepherd Psalm” by David warms my heart every time. When I was a child, I used to keep a puzzle that showed Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Whenever I was afraid, this framed puzzle picture would bring to mind the words of this precious Psalm.
In this passage we are depicted as sheep. I once lived in a place with a lot of sheep. One day while cresting over a hill I saw a flock of sheep across the road. I came to a screeching stop as a bleating sheep looked up from my front bumper. This sheep had no idea how close it had come to almost becoming lamb chop. A short time later a cowboy came galloping up. I mentioned how I had almost taken out some of his sheep. He simply shrugged his shoulders that every once in a while, they lose some. I thought to myself, “This person is not a good shepherd!”
Whatever struggle we may face, we can count on that good shepherd to guide us through the main twists and contours of our lives. The Good Shepherd doesn’t promise that life will be easy, but he does promise to be there even “through the darkest valley.”
Michael W. Campbell
Professor of Religion
Southwestern Adventist University, Texas, USA