Friday April 29- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”
The shepherd has the care and protection of his flock of sheep utmost in his mind. he doesn’t slumber and sleep, he is always vigilant. The sheep recognize they are privileged to have a goods, caring, loving shepherd. Goodness and mercy flow from him to his sheep. They bask and thrive in his care.
From our Good shepherd there flows goodness and mercy to us. He loves us. He forgives us. He will not leave us alone. He is ever searching for his lost sheep. He wants us to have a close fellowship with him. His love, mercy and goodness will follow us all the days of our lives.
“And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The Psalm opened with the affirmation, “The Lord is my shepherd!” And now it closes with “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” In between we saw the way the shepherd cares for his sheep and connected that with how Jesus is our Good shepherd and cares for us.
I read a book of a shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm. He tells of the ranch next to his where the owner cared nothing for his sheep. They were thin, weak, full of disease, they only had polluted water to drink, scrub poor grass the eat. They stood at the fence looking longingly at the shepherd’s sheep and their green pasture. They tried to get through the fence to be in his flock. His sheep would never leave his care. They were glad to be there – home – with their shepherd.
We can see that these two flocks of sheep one tended by a good shepherd and the other by a care -less shepherd, if he could be called that – more like a hireling, and we can see the people around us. there are two groups, one who are the sheep owned by Jesus and the other who have been seduced by Satan. Jesus flock is fed with him, he is our bread he is our water. while Satan’s group is fed empty, false promises. Satan’s group is running after things to fill their hunger and nothing satisfies – because only Jesus satisfies – only He gives life – real life the only REAL life. Once we have “tasted” of the Lord would we want to go anywhere else, but stay in his “house” close to him? Only he gives the abundant life. Only Jesus, our Good shepherd gives eternal life.
There is a lot in this Psalm. Is Jesus my Good Shepherd? Am I the sheep of his pasture? Do I appreciate what a Good Shepherd I have? Do I desire to stay close to him forever? Can I say with the little girl, “The Lord is my shepherd, he is all I want.”
(by Gerrie Wilkowski)