This is the fifth post in the series "Who Is God?'
Exodus 3:15 (ASV) And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
My proper name is Donald, but I’m also called dad, father, grandpa, son, uncle, brother, nephew, and pastor along with others. Each of these is a name for me which describes certain attributes. God’s proper name is Jehovah, but as with you and me His is known by other names that describe Him.
Psalm 23:1 (NKJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Rô'eh from which Raah derived, means "shepherd" in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture. An extend translation of this word, rea', is "friend" or "companion." This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Raah - it can be translated as "The Lord my Friend." - Blue Letter Bible
In Psalm 23 the writer, David, was referring to Jehovah-Raah as his personal shepherd leading, comforting, protecting, and providing for him. He paints a picture of a faithful shepherd who provides tender care. God’s flock, those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus, trust Him as sheep instinctively trust their shepherd to provide for them. The shepherd, our Shepherd, leads the sheep, us, to restful peace. He leads us through the struggles of life, and protects us from fear and danger.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 (NKJV)11 'For thus says the Lord GOD: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord GOD.16 I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment."
We all need a friend a true friend a true shepherd.
Because the Lord is our shepherd I know that no matter what this world and life throw at us we’re never alone.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV) And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
Because the lord is our shepherd we don't have to wonder which way we should go.
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
Psalm 23:4-5 (NKJV)4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
John 14:26 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Because the lord is my shepherd I don't have to fear because in the times of trouble he hides me.
Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Jesus Is Our Shepherd And Friend
Jesus, God the Son, called Himself the good shepherd and called His disciples friends (Click HERE to read the Who Is Jesus series) .
John 10:11-16 (NKJV)11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
When Jesus called Himself the good shepherd He was saying that He is inherently good, and righteous, and that He is the one who protects, guides and cares for His flock who He says know exactly who He is.
John 15:15 (NKJV)15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Jesus began calling His disciples friends rather than servants because He had entrusted them with everything He had heard from His Father. Jesus trusted the disciples to use the information for the good of His Father’s kingdom.
We share our hearts with those we trust, and trust those who care about us. We confide in our friends because we have confidence that they will use the information to help us, not harm us. We often refer to Jesus as our friend because we know that He wants what is best for us. We confide in Him because we trust Him.
Although we know that Jesus is our friend, can we say that we are His friends? Do we listen to Him? Or do we only want Him to listen to us? Do we want to know what’s on His heart? Or do we only want to tell Him what’s on ours? To be a friend of Jesus, we need to listen to what He wants us to know and then use the information to bring others into friendship with Him. - Our Daily Bread, He Calls Me Friend
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.