A Short Study of Psalm 23:1
One of the most blessed truths God’s elect can ever be brought to see by God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of God’s Gospel is what King David so confidently expressed in Psalm 23:1 – “The Lord IS MY Shepherd.”
It’s so hard to imagine Jehovah, the infinite, omniscient, sovereign King of the universe condescending to be MY Shepherd. The thing we must realize is that Christ is our Shepherd by virtue of our being made one with Him in eternal election through the blood of the everlasting covenant of grace –
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Contrary to the error taught in modern religion, Christ has never been and never will be the Shepherd of any but those redeemed and justified at the cross by His precious blood – “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
Christ’s death wasn’t an attempt by the Sovereign God to make it possible for men to be saved if they fulfilled certain conditions that religion places on them. Christ’s death in time was the actual fulfillment of every righteous requirement for each and every one of those whom He represented.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
As our Shepherd, Christ, by His perfect, obedient life and atoning death as our Representative and Substitute, fulfilled all the righteousness God’s holiness and justice required of us. By Christ’s righteousness alone, God the Father, a righteous Judge, was enabled to be both “a just God and a Saviour”. Christ is the chief Shepherd, the good Shepherd, and the great Shepherd because “He loved us and gave Himself for us (HIS ELECT).”
This makes Him my Shepherd. For this reason, His elect “shall not want (lack anything).”
(see Psalm 23:1)
We shall not lack for righteousness, because He is our righteousness – “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:6)
Christ’s substitutionary life and death is all the redemption God’s elect need to be delivered safely and perfectly into His blessed presence eternally.
IS HE YOUR SHEPHERD?
One thing is certain – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know (love) them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish” (John 10:27-28).
By Richard Warmack