Psalms 23:1 - 6
ESV - 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
The Lord’s use of sheep to illustrate our relationship with him becomes more and more interesting the more we understand about the nature of sheep and a good shepherd. I am wondering why the sheep are so important to the shepherd that he would die for them? Yes, they have monetary value to a sheep farmer but if a sheep goes astray and would risk the life of the shepherd to protect/save it, why would he not just let it go and concentrate on the rest of the sheep? Why is one sheep so important?
David, the writer of this psalm, was once a shepherd over his father's sheep in the bush before God chose him as king to 'shepherd' the people of Israel. So he understood the roles of a shepherd and knew that nobody could take up the responsibility of a shepherd over him other than God, while he positioned himself as a sheep.
Before anyone could claim that the Lord is their shepherd, such must firstly position him/herself as a sheep.
The shepherd cannot direct the goat, so we must have the attributes of a sheep before claiming the Lord as our shepherd.