“The LORD is my Shepherd.”
Psalm 23:1b, NKJV
First, in answering the question, “why does David call the LORD his Shepherd?” it is of utter importance to note that David calls the LORD by the Hebrew name, Yahweh which means the self-existence, eternal God. To the Jew, Yahweh is the most scared name for God, so scared in fact, that the name was not spoken verbally. Yahweh was and is the self-existence, eternal God- “In the beginning God (Genesis 1:1)- He has always been- there was never a time when God wasn’t; “ ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” – not only has there never been a time when God hasn’t been, there will never be a time when God won’t be (Revelation 1:8)
David recognized that it was God who brought his life into existence (Psalm 139:13). It was God who had protected him from his enemies and had rained down upon him blessing after blessing. It was God who had provided for him time and time again meeting David’s every need (Psalm 18:1-3). He knew and honored the mere fact that the LORD was his Shepherd, his Owner, and his Master simply because it was the LORD who had created him.
In the Gospel of John, John records Jesus as pronouncing Himself to be the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep and is willing to lay down His life for their freedom. Jesus is the understanding, compassionate, loving Shepherd who cares enough to seek and to save the lost sheep who have gone astray.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to this own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6 , NKJV
For the sheep farmer, his flock is extremely important to him; it is his lively hood. Caring for, protecting, and providing for his sheep is the farmers number one priority. Shepherds, like cattlemen, have a way of marking or branding their livestock so that all will know who know who the animals belong to. The Shepherd will take each ewe, lay her ear on a wooden block, then using a razor sharp object will deeply cut a distinctive mark, belonging only to him, into the ear of his ewe. This is a lifelong mark never to be erased and forever linking the sheep to his shepherd.
Just as a shepherd marks the ear of each sheep, God marks all believers with a mark that is eternal and can never be erased. The body of our Savior was cut and beaten and brusied because of our sins. The blood flowed freely from His body cleansing us of our sins and covering us with His righteousness.
*All believers have been clothed with the righteous robe of Christ and His garment of salvation (Isaiah 61:10).
*All believers have been redeemed and covered by the precious blood of the Lamb (1 Peter 1:17-19).
“The LORD, He is my Shepherd,” words confidently spoken by the once shepherd boy now turned shepherd-king. David was confident in his Shepherd because his Shepherd was the eternal, self-existent God and had paid of huge price for this sheep. David knew there was no other in whom he could place such trust and faith.
Dear friend, know today that He, the LORD, Yahweh, the self-existent, eternal God, He is your Shepherd. He has bought and paid for you with the precious blood of the Lamb. He formed you in the womb of your mother and has created you to be His precious sheep. Follow after your Good Shepherd today.