Scriptures
2 Samuel 17:28-29; Psalm 23:1-6; Isaiah 53:6; John 6:35; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 13:5-6

Verse
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Psalm 23:1

Thought
Jehovah Raah is one of the Hebrew names of God. It means: the Lord my Shepherd. This name is found in Psalm 23 which is one of the most revered and beloved passages in the Bible. It is a great psalm that ministers to our deepest spiritual longings when we face times of need. It is a psalm of David and we know something of the circumstances of its origin. Second Samuel records the instance in David’s life when his son rebelled against him and toppled him from the throne. David was forced to flee into the wilderness with his family and servants. He was hunted and hounded for many months. Perhaps, because so much of his early life had been spent as a shepherd in that same wilderness, he recalled that experience as a young shepherd in writing this psalm. This is a psalm for people, like David, who are experiencing upheaval in their life. Perhaps you too have children who are rebelling, or your home is in chaos, or some long standing relationship in your life is breaking up. Perhaps you are doubting the shepherd’s care and concern for you. Whatever it may be, this psalm is written for you. It’s a psalm for people who are shaken and in turmoil and who are in need of a reassuring word from the Good Shepherd.

Questions
How do you feel about being compared to a sheep? When was the last time you heard the 23rd Psalm recited? How has the Good Shepherd taken care of your needs this year? Do you see “discontentment” as a “prison of want?” When did you come to the place in your life that you realized you needed a shepherd? How has the Good Shepherd given you direction in your life? How hard is it for you to make important decisions? When was the last time you knew the Lord protected you from danger as the shepherd protects the sheep? What do you do to help keep close to the Shepherd? Do you find it hard to follow wherever the Good Shepherd leads?

Response
Make a commitment to memorize Psalm 23 by September 1, 2018. In the process of memorizing it, ask the Good Shepherd to make this psalm “come alive” for you. Pray that you can see yourself as a sheep that is in need of the care and concern that only God can give because of His shepherd’s heart. Make a decision to join the Shepherd’s flock and then stay close to the Shepherd and follow wherever the Good Shepherd leads.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father; the Good Shepherd of your sheep. Show me how needy I am and how dependent I truly am on you as the shepherd of my soul. Thank you for taking care of all my needs both spiritual and material. You alone satisfy the longings of my heart and I know that nothing in life is more important than having a personal saving relationship with you. Please put desire in my heart to stay close to You and follow wherever You, the Good Shepherd, leads me today and always. Jehovah Raah, I pray. Amen.