David and the Shepherd
One of the most exalted and loved of God, was David, whom God chose as a mere shepherd boy to become King of all of Israel. David loved God greatly and wrote and sang many songs of praise for the Lord. With his simple adolescence and understanding of a shepherd’s ways to care, defend, and, if necessary, give his life for the flock, David learned to praise the Lord most graciously as shown in David’s psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness. For his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
– Psalm 23
With faith in the Lord to provide, David was to rule a nation. Yet David sometimes strayed away from the ways of the Lord, which caused hardships and temptations to prevail against him. Fortunately with a child-like trust and repentive heart, David always went back to the Lord for forgiveness. This allowed the Heavenly Father to express his love freely, and to provide for all of King David’s needs. Just as God wishes to do for all his children.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.
– 1 John 5:3, 4
Through faith in Jesus, God is allowed to extend to us the same love given to David. With the keeping of the Lord’s commandments to love, we are given the Holy Spirit to care and defend for us. We become free to be everything the Heavenly Father wills for us. The confidence this brings allows a person to praise the Lord most naturally. Because we know nothing can overcome us, victory is already ours through Jesus Christ. Only Jesus is given the right to say;
“I am the good shepherd, and I know my own. And my own know me, even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
– John 10:14, 15