All The Days Of My Life
Peter L. Meney | Added: Jan 11, 2023 | Category: Theology
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We are greatly privileged if we can say the words of this beautiful psalm with David, and know them to be true. To know the Lord Jesus Christ as ‘my Shepherd’ is to know Him by faith as Saviour, Provider and Friend. The inspired writers of Scripture, directed by the Holy Ghost, tell us what this means, and clearly identify the Lord Jesus Christ as the Shepherd of whom David speaks.
Christ, God’s Shepherd
The prophet Zechariah saw the redemptive and substitutionary work of God’s Shepherd in His role as the God-man mediator. He writes, ‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd’ (13:7). The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s fellow, is God’s Shepherd for us. Upon Him the sword of judgment and divine wrath against sin fell. This is the wonder of God’s work of salvation. God Himself, in the form of a man, representatively takes our sin, assumes our guilt, bears our condemnation and dies in our place. In doing so Jesus Christ magnified the grace and love of God for His chosen people.
Christ the Great Shepherd
The writer to the Hebrews identifies the Lord Jesus as the Great Shepherd writing; ‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep’ (13:20). Our Great Shepherd in satisfying divine justice has secured peace and reconciliation between God and man. Our Great Shepherd having died is now raised again from the dead, having defeated all our enemies.
Christ our One Shepherd
Ezekiel shows us the Lordship of Christ in His kingly office. He is the unique and matchless Shepherd who leads and feeds His flock. Our One Shepherd, having redeemed His people by death and risen again in glory, now provides and protects His little ones. ‘And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them’ (34:23). Providentially, spiritually and eternally, Christ leads and feeds us in the green pastures of spiritual revelation and by the still waters of gospel truth.
Christ the Chief Shepherd
When our life is over Christ the Chief Shepherd shall come for us and gather us to Himself. ‘And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory’ (1 Peter 5:4). Well might the Lord’s people rejoice in the Lord alway! God’s Shepherd took our crown of thorns and He will give us a crown of glory. This is surely goodness and mercy. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Great Shepherd who rose again, our One Shepherd who supplies all our needs, is coming again to receive us into glory.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Our King of kings and Lord of lords condescends to take the title of Shepherd to Himself. In John 10:11, Christ, our Saviour, declares, ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep’.
How blessed we are to be able to join with David in naming the Lord Jesus Christ ‘My Shepherd’. How honoured we are to know by faith God’s Shepherd, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, the One Shepherd all-glorious in His kingdom, and the Chief Shepherd who is coming again.
Enjoying God’s blessings
Knowing these things to be true, we can and should meet every challenge with confidence and every hindrance with hope. The psalmist tells us ‘the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly’ (Psalm 84:11), that is, who being in Christ, walk in the Spirit.
Applying God’s word
Sheep are not the brightest of animals. They are foolish, wilful, and timorous and all we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. Yet our Good Shepherd ‘restoreth our souls’. The tempted, weary, and downcast amongst us who struggle to go forward shall find our souls restored as the Lord leads us in paths of righteousness!
What is this but bringing those fallen in sin to experience forgiveness from God? What are these paths of righteousness in which we walk? No path of our making, for sure, but a highway in the wilderness where the Good Shepherd walks before us, and we follow in His step. Our sun for warmth, our shield for defence, our every need supplied
Shadow’s scare but do not hurt
‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.’ Christ has delivered us from evil and the fear of evil, who through fear of death were all our lifetime subject to bondage. Let us take this at face value. We sometimes say ‘it isn’t death we fear but dying’. Well, dying is the shadow of death and God’s rod and staff will be our constant companions in that valley, to guide and guard when light grows dim, Satan wrestles and the next step seems difficult.
A table prepared with good things
What of worries and anxieties? Poverty, ill health, family troubles? Fears for the spiritual wellbeing of our children? What does the psalmist say? ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil.’ Not only will the Lord provide, like the Good Shepherd He is, He shall prepare personally the table of good things, knowing exactly what His people need, and what His flock requires. When our eyes lose sight of Jesus, when our souls go hungry, when our conscience pricks, and our spirit groans, when our patience is stretched to breaking point and the Lord seems far away, He Himself will bring a word of comfort, a message of hope, to anoint our heads with the oil of gladness above our fellows.
The goodness and mercy of the Lord comes plentifully and bountifully, as the cruse that kept on giving and the cup that runs over. The Lord will not be our debtor. He shall always give more than we ask, better than we hope for, above what we even imagined. For He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us’.
‘All the days of my life’
This is an interesting little phrase. It certainly means from this time forth and for evermore, like ‘the name of the Lord is blessed from this time forth and for evermore’. But it is also another beautiful representation of the eternal covenant of God and the everlasting nature of His goodness and mercy. Do you realise God’s tender, loving care for you was as all-encompassing before you were saved as it has been ever after? Do you know the love of God was always on you, the goodness, mercy, patience and protection of God always covered your comings and goings even when you were walking in darkness, glorying after the flesh? ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Surely tells us to be assured, be convinced and persuaded, be certain for-sure.
The goodness and mercy of God shall follow you all the days of your life: and you will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. It has always been, now is, and forever shall be so. In ourselves we are as guilty now as we ever were, in ourselves there is no good thing, except what God has put there in Christ. All our salvation is down to His goodness and mercy, and but for it we would be as guilty and culpable as any.
Yet we shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Either in the church of the living God now, for we shall never lose our salvation; it is as sure as Christ’s blood is pure, or else in our heavenly mansions to come.
David saw all this, and sang it in a song! Christ is my Shepherd, knowing Him, with the psalmist we declare, I shall not want. ‘God shall supply all your need’, for, says Isaiah, ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young’ (Isaiah 40:11).
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