We looked at Psalm 23 in our homegroup Sunday evening. It is a highly personalized psalm, as seen in the repeated use of "I" and "me". Though this is for all of God's people, it is instructive that the personal nature of this Shepherd/sheep relationship is important here.
Community is crucial in our life in God, inherent in fact. But we also have our individual part in the whole. This must never be lost. And God also takes us seriously as individuals, not just as individual parts of the whole, or one of the many. But his care for each of his sheep is complete down to the very hairs of our head.
Is "the Lord is my Shepherd" enough for us? Are we satisfied with that? As such he provides us each with needs met, rest, refreshment, guidance, protection, discipline, honor in grace before enemies, rich blessing, and God's presence for end of days. This is a blessed life in this present existence, meaning in a state of continued need in every way and protection from enemies. Of course we need all of Scripture to see this psalm or any other part of Scripture aright, especially passages in the New Testament that see this Shepherd imagery fulfilled in Jesus.
Is "the Lord is my Shepherd" enough? Most certainly in this psalm. And if so in this psalm, then true for our lives as well. By faith I must accept this metaphor that God in Christ is my Shepherd, that I am a sheep. And be satisfied with God's provision on his terms, not on my own. God's goodness and loyal love, or commitment will chase us all our days (Goldingay). And as sheep, how much each of us needs that. I know I do, as when I go my own way, or complain about my lot before God.
God wants us to find what true life in him means, a life more abundant, to the full. We'll find it only in this way, through the Lord who opens up the way to this life, and he being our Shepherd, and "we...the flock under his care."
What comes to mind here that you would like to share with us?