“In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel and the Lord, your God said to you, you shall be shepherd of my people, Israel, and you shall be prince over my people, Israel.”
-1 Chronicles 11:2
So this verse is talking about David when he was anointed as king and how even before he became king, God was leading and shepherding his people through David. And now, as he becomes king, God is clearly saying to David that one of his responsibilities as king is to be a good shepherd for God’s people. What a great picture, isn’t it? What imagery, that the king, the ruler of the land would be described as a shepherd, a shepherd king. And this is exactly the picture that God desires for us to see today. Not in king David from the past, but in king Jesus.
Jesus is the Lord and king overall, the one to whom all authority in heaven and earth belongs.
This is where this imagery really comes to life. Jesus, the Lord and king overall, the one to whom all authority in heaven and earth belongs. The king of Kings is your shepherd, my shepherd, we’re his sheep. He loves us and leads us and nourishes us and feeds us and cherishes us and protects us like a shepherd does his sheep. This picture is all over the Bible. God described as shepherd. I think about Genesis 48:15, when Jacob is saying, “My God, who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day.” He’s on his death bed. He’s looking back and he says, God’s been my shepherd. This is king David saying in Psalm 23, the most beloved Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd.” This Jesus saying John chapter 10, “I am the good shepherd.” And this is the picture we have in Revelation chapter seven, “And every nation, tribe and tongue is gathered around the throne of God.” And we see Jesus described as the shepherd of our souls, all the way to the end.
And so we pray, oh God, all glory be to your name, our shepherd king. Jesus, we praise you as being king and Lord overall, as being the savior of our sin and as being the shepherd of our souls. We praise you for leading us, guiding us. We look to you today. We confess that we are sheep, and we realize that sheep are not that sharp of an animal. They are not that smart. They’re not fast. They’re fairly defenseless. There’s a lot of things about sheep that accurately describe who we are. Jesus, we need you to shepherd us today. And we praise you as the Lord, our shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep. Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross for our sins, for rising from the grave, ascending into heaven, sending us your spirit and promising to shepherd us at every moment of every day and everything we walk through.
God, I know there’s some people listening to this right now, who are walking and through some really hard times, challenging days. Would you be their shepherd? In the middle of the valley of the shadow of death, you are our shepherd. You lead us, even when surrounded by enemies, you prepare a table before us. God, all these things that we see in Psalm 23, that you would make us lie down in green pastures and restore our souls in the ways we need restoration. Jesus, we praise you as our shepherd king. We thank you for being our shepherd king. We look to you as our shepherd king and we pray you’d help us to follow you as our shepherd king today, even as, in the words of Psalm 23, your goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives.
And even as we pray all this, oh God, we pray for the Cham people of Vietnam, 133,000 of them. And only a few of them know the goodness of what it means for you to be their shepherd king. God, we pray that you bless those few and you give them boldness as they proclaim the good news of the shepherd savior king to the friends and family around them. And God, we pray that more and more Cham people in Vietnam would come to know you as the savior and shepherd king of their lives and of the world. Oh Jesus, there is no one like you and we praise you today, our shepherd king. In your name, we pray. Amen.