Jehovah Ra-ah (God Our Shepherd)
"What I believe about God," said A.W. Tozer, "is the most important thing about me." But the problem is that most of us aren't sure what we believe about Him. Most of our knowledge and images about God are leftovers from our parents or bad experiences that we conclude are reflections of God.
None is more personal and comforting than the one used by David in Psalm 23 where he called God Jehovah Ra-ah, or "God my shepherd." David began, saying, "The Lord is my shepherd . . ."
Some animals can outrun their enemies. They are fleet of foot. But not sheep. Others have great strength. They can defeat their enemies. But not sheep. Yet others can hide from their enemies. Their markings blend in camouflage. But not sheep. Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for protection and guidance. Sheep need help when they fall, strength when they are weak, and direction when they are lost.
Is it any wonder that Jesus looked upon the multitude who had come to hear Him speak, and seeing their needs, was moved with compassion, describing them as "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36)?
Long ago the prophet Isaiah described us as sheep who had gone astray. He said that "each of us has turned to his own way," and in those simple words, we have the dilemma that confronts us. Having turned from the care of the shepherd, we have strayed far from the Kingdom of peace. Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Luke 19:10).
May the God of peace . . . , that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. HEBREWS 13:20-21