The entire message of this poem is based upon the first six words – “The Lord is my shepherd.” These words formed the foundation of David’s faith as well as our own. To whom was David referring when he mentions the name LORD?
When David used the name LORD he was referring to Yahweh. The name Yahweh was so much in awe that the Hebrew people rarely spoke the name, but rather used a lesser name out of respect. Yahweh who inhabits eternity is the God that David calls “my shepherd.”
David’s use of the name LORD – Yahweh speaks of an unchanging God, an uncaused God, and an ungoverned God. He is creator and master of the universe. He formed mankind out of a piece of clay and breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul.
Yahweh is an uncaused shepherd. No one breathed life into Him. He always was, always is, and always shall be. He is the self-existent one. No act brought him forth. Moses said of him; “Before the mountains were born or you gave birth of the earth and the world, even from everlasting, You are God.” (Ps. 90:2)
We might also take note of the fact that David used the verb “is” in his description of the LORD. David’s relationship with God as his shepherd was not a past happening or something to look forward to in the future, but a present reality. Each and every day God was a shepherd leading him down the path of life.
We also see David claiming the LORD as a present possession. The LORD is MY shepherd. This means that David saw himself as one of the sheep dependent upon the leadership of the shepherd.
As sheep, we are totally dependent upon the shepherd for our daily needs. Our faith is wholly in Jesus Christ as Savior. He is not only the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (Ps.22), but the Great Shepherd who was resurrected for the sheep (Ps.23), and the Chief Shepherd who rewards his sheep.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I am completely dependent upon you as my shepherd.