The older you get in life, your chances increase that someone close to you will die. Thus, most people will attend a funeral at sooner or later. One of the most common passages read during funerals is Psalm 23, often quoting the entire chapter. When my mom’s father passed away several years ago in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, my family was at his side as he breathed his last breath. My sister Cindy, read to him Psalm 23:1-6 over and over again to ease his pain.
According to 1 Samuel 16:11, David was a shepherd boy, tending his father’s sheep. In Psalm 23, David uses imagery, possibly recounting his own experience as God’s Spirit inspired him to write about a heavenly shepherd. Knowing the daily requirements of a seasoned shepherd, David pours out his heart, placing his faith in God’s hand. Meanwhile, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved shares a similar account in chapter 10 of his gospel. John quotes Jesus in 17 of the first 18 verses, explaining there is only one way into heaven, through the gate of the Shepherd, who know and follow his voice.
In reality, human beings are dumb creatures like sheep, like the blind leading the blind. When things are going well, its easy to navigate through life, whether you have a GPS or not. However, as you encounter canyons, valleys or wastelands, relying on a shepherd may be the difference between life and death. When push comes to shove or where faith meets fire, who will you call to come to your aide? From One shepherd to another, come back to the pen before its too late, John 10:17. The Great Shepherd is calling you home, retreat now to be by his side, Psalm 23:6.
by Jay Mankus