Draw Close to God
“Jehovah Is My Shepherd”
LOOK at the picture on this page. Can you sense the security of that lamb nestled in the bosom of its shepherd? In Psalm 23, the Bible uses the metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep to illustrate the tender care that Jehovah gives his worshippers. He wants us to feel the security that comes to those who, like the psalmist David, can say with confidence: “Jehovah is my Shepherd.”a—Verse 1.
The writer of this psalm, David, was a shepherd as a youth. He knew the needs of sheep and the responsibilities of a shepherd. David, who had experienced God’s care in his life, wrote what has been called “a psalm of assurance or trust.” The divine name, Jehovah, appears at the beginning and at the end of the psalm. (Verses 1, 6) The words between describe three ways in which Jehovah cares for his people as a shepherd cares for his sheep.—Psalm 100:3.
Jehovah leads his sheep. Sheep without their shepherd tend to get lost. Similarly, we need help to find the right path in life. (Jeremiah 10:23) Jehovah, explains David, guides his people to “grassy pastures” and “well-watered resting-places.” He leads them “in the tracks of righteousness.” (Verses 2, 3) These pastoral images reassure us that we can trust in God. By following the leadings of his spirit as reflected in the Bible, we can pursue a way of life that brings contentment, refreshment, and security.
Jehovah protects his sheep. Without their shepherd, sheep are fearful and helpless. Jehovah tells his people that they need not fear, not even when they “walk in the valley of deep shadow”—during what may seem to be the darkest moments in life. (Verse 4) Jehovah watches over them, ever ready to help them. He can give his worshippers the wisdom and strength they need in order to cope with trials.—Philippians 4:13; James 1:2-5.
Jehovah feeds his sheep. Sheep are dependent on their shepherd to find food for them. We have a spiritual need that can be filled only with God’s help. (Matthew 5:3) Thankfully, Jehovah is a generous Provider, arranging before his servants a bounteous table. (Verse 5) The Bible and Bible study aids, such as the journal you are reading, are a source of spiritual food that satisfies our need to know the meaning of life and God’s purpose for us.
David felt secure knowing that if he remained close to his heavenly Shepherd, he would experience Jehovah’s loving care “all the days of [his] life.” (Verse 6) Do you long for such security? If so, learn how you can draw close to Jehovah. Thus you may feel safe in the arms of the Great Shepherd, who leads, protects, and feeds those who remain loyal to him.—Isaiah 40:11.
Suggested Bible reading for May:
a Many readers are familiar with the rendering “The LORD is my Shepherd.” To find out why some Bible translations leave out the divine name, Jehovah, see pages 195-197 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.