The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. -Psalm 23:1 ESV

This is one of the most famous sentences in all of human history. The image of God as a divine shepherd seems to transcend language and culture. Jesus referred to himself as a shepherd. Church leaders throughout the ages have taken on the title. It communicates two important truths. We are sheep and we are in need of a shepherd.

The verses following this one speaks of how the shepherd leads us, comforts us and watches over us. I love the metaphor but understand that, like all metaphors, it presents a simplistic view of the dynamics between sheep and shepherd. The image is most representative of a spiritual shepherd who cares for our soul and leads us by his spirit.

Lead us, O Divine Shepherd, to the place where we do not want for love, joy or peace.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

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