Personal Note: I was only 7 years old when a vacation Bible school teacher challenged us to memorize Psalm 23. All who did received a book which contained the New Testament with the Psalms. Surprisingly, I was able to do that and I still have that Bible. Memorizing God’s Word is a discipline that has always been a struggle for me, but I know that it does bring sure rewards to those who practice it. I do believe that the more time we spend in a passage and get to “know” it, the more personal it becomes. David said blessed is the one who delights in the law of the Lord and “meditates” on it day and night (Psalm 1:1,2). This is my prayer for you during this Lenten season.
“…for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
The condition of a flock of sheep is a direct reflection of the Shepherd. One can best determine whether a shepherd is “good” or “bad” after observing the sheep. If the sheep are dirty and malnourished we would not give very high ratings. If there were injured sheep that were not being cared for we would question the level of concern that shepherd had for the sheep. We do not blame the sheep. We investigate the shepherd. “What kind of shepherd would let this happen?” The condition of the sheep directly reflects on the shepherd.
So, it should come as no surprise that the things God does for us are for “His name’s sake”. In other words, it is God’s reputation that is on the line. He is the Shepherd and He is the Good Shepherd. When we see sheep that have their needs taken care of and sheep who lie down in green pastures, we feel good about the shepherd. When sheep are led by quiet waters and their soul’s are restored and they are guided in paths of righteousness we say, “Wow. Now they have a good shepherd!”
The words of this Psalm were written to bring us comfort and to reveal to us a beautiful picture of our God. It reminds us that the Lord is our Shepherd and He is GOOD! All He does in our lives is for our good and His glory. Sometimes we may not understand it and life can be a challenge, but this Psalm can bring us the assurance that our Father has your best in mind...”for His name’s sake”. Your condition as a believer has a direct reflection on the Shepherd.
Are you trusting the Lord with your life today? He wants to take care of you and wants you life to show others that He is a good Shepherd. So, you are blessed for “His name’s sake”. This is about God and how wonderful He is!
So, read the Psalm again. This time read it and focus on what is says about the Shepherd and not just what it says about the sheep. I think you will find that you will say, “Wow. We have a Good Shepherd!”