One of the most treasured passages in the Bible is Psalm 23, where we learn that God is our shepherd, Jehovah-Raah. A shepherd lives with his sheep and cares for their every need, night and day. In fact, his own well-being is tied up with theirs, since they are his livelihood. He nourishes them, leads them to pasture, and gives them a safe place to rest. He seeks and finds them when they are lost and gently carries them back to rejoin the flock.
A good shepherd makes sure that his sheep have everything they need: fresh grass to graze on, protection from fears and dangers, clean, still water to drink, and a safe place to rest. Sheep won’t even graze or lie down if they are fearful or distraught, so a shepherd has to make sure that their emotional needs as well as their physical needs are met.
God does all of this and more for us. Jesus said that he is our Good Shepherd (John 10). He is the one about whom Isaiah wrote, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11 ESV).
He fulfills all the promises of what a Good Shepherd does for his sheep in Psalm 23 and Ezekiel 34:11-24.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 ESV)
God searches for us when we are lost and rescues and cares for all our needs. He is gentle and kind with us. He bandages our wounds. He marks out the path ahead of us and hems us in behind so we won’t stray from the straight and narrow road of salvation. He guards the door of the sheep pen so that not one of his people is stolen away.
He even gave his life so that we could be saved, because he is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). We have nothing to fear because the Good Shepherd takes care of us.
By Nancy Taylor and Phil Ryken in their Book Is God Real?