All throughout the Bible, the Lord gives us pictures or images to show us who He really is. For example, the Bible talks about Him being our fortress, our stronghold, and our tower.
One of the most frequently used pictures of who God is, is that of a shepherd. Did you know that this is actually one of the redemptive names of God?
Yahweh-Rohi, (often transliterated Jehovah Rohi) means, “The Lord My Shepherd”.
It is so important that we really understand who God is and that we personally understand His nature. He wants to be known. He wants to reveal to us who He is.
We will experience in life what we believe about God at a heart level, not just what we mentally have knowledge of.
What Does it Mean for God to Be Your Shepherd?
Most of us are not directly in contact with shepherds and sheep every day. Most of us probably didn’t grow up with sheep.
But through stories and pictures, we have collected information about shepherds. We know that they care for their sheep and protect their sheep from harm.
The Hebrew word rohi (shepherd) means “ God sees those in need and infuses them with empowering grace”. This reveals that God is closely watching out for your needs. He sees you.
Shepherds lead and guide their sheep, they watch over their sheep, tend to their needs, feed them, take care of any injuries, etc.
Basically, we know that shepherds completely provide for everything the sheep need!
Prophecies of the Coming Shepherd
All throughout the Old Testament we see prophecies of the Good Shepherd that was to come. Here is one of them found in – Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 23-31.
Take your time in reading this. This is a prophecy of what Jesus would come and do for you.
‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains.
15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. 16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick;
I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them— He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God,
25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness… 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.
27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.
29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they..are My people,” says the Lord God.’
31 “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd
Jesus was the fulfillment of all the old testament prophecies of the coming good Shepherd.
In John 10:11, Jesus identified Himself as the Good Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
In Matthew 26:31, Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy that they would strike the Shepherd. He was referring to Himself being crucified.
1 Peter 2:24 Peter quoted Isaiah’s prophecy that the Shepherd would heal the sheep by taking their iniquities.
Hebrews 13:20 also proclaims Jesus as the prophesied Shepherd.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Remember that a shepherd provides everything the sheep could possibly need. This is exactly what our Good Shepherd did for us on the cross.
Through that one act of obedience, He provided everything we could possibly need in this life.
Psalm 23 – the Present Day Ministry of Jesus
In the famous Psalm 23, we see the present day ministry of Jesus shepherding us into what He has provided.
The land of rest, peace, protection, and health has been provided. As we are led by Jesus, we are led into this land that has already been provided for us.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd, who is leading us into this land He has provided.
This land is a place of rest where everything is supplied. All provision has been made.
He went before us and provided this place for us. (Jesus talks about this is John 14:2)
Think about who God is, Jehovah Rohi, the Lord Your Shepherd. The Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for the sheep.
Read this beautiful version of Psalm 23 in The Passion Translation. This Psalm not only presents the land of blessing Jesus has provided for us, but there is also a great revealing of God’s tender, protective, and caring nature.
Psalm 23 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Yahweh is my best friend and my shepherd.
I always have more than enough.
He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace near the quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me the right path
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness
so that I can bring honor to his name.
Even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
you give me all I can drink of you until my cup overflows.
So why would I fear the future?
Only goodness and tender love pursue me all the days of my life.
Then afterward, when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!