We have covered many names of God during the past few days. Today's name is one that speaks of safety and security in a world that offers none. In Psalm 23:1 we discover than“Jehovah-Raah” means “The Lord is my shepherd”. This verse continues with “I shall not want.” This is the name for the Lord which promises we shall not lack anything. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that promise. “I am the good shepherd,” Jesus said. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, NIV). Jesus became our shepherd by giving His life for us. Just as a shepherd assumes the responsibility for the care and well-being of his sheep, so Christ takes compete responsibility for our care and well-being. The Lord as “Jehovah Raah” is the shepherd who provides loving care for His people. He is the same great “Jehovah Jireh” that is powerfully on time with His provision. In this Jehovah God, we are saved by His redeeming love. All that we could ever want or need is found in our shepherd, who paid our price in full.
Sheep always need a shepherd to protect and care for them. We, just like sheep, are completely defenseless and dependent on a shepherd. Prey attack sheep, and bad environmental conditions put them in grave danger. We are also attacked, and face danger from our enemy. “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 1:8b, NIV). A shepherd protects His sheep at all cost―sometimes to even the point of death. Jesus gave His life on the cross as our Good Shepherd. He had the power to save himself, but he chose to give His life for you and me. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, NIV).
“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus continues. “I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord”(John 10:14-18a, NIV). The gift of His life is not for just a certain view. It is for all mankind. Jesus is the Good Shepherd over all who come to believe in Him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). To know and believe that “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want”, we must know Him as the Good Shepherd who gave His life for our sake.