August 18

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 10
            Romans 8
            Jeremiah 47
            Psalms 23

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

            It is interesting and thrilling that we have come to two of the most familiar verses to believers in all the Bible. These are verses of promise, and they bless and encourage us every day. The 23'd Psalm may be the most familiar passage of Scripture to the most people of any text in the Word of God. It is a daily blessing to Christian believers and to Jewish people. It should bless you today. The name Jehovah-Rohi is the Hebrew beginning of Psalm 23.It is both the name of God and an affirmation of faith.
            David, out on the hills of Bethlehem, in the cool nights, watched the sheep, knowing that bears, wolves, lions, and thieves menaced his flock and himself.  He was the shepherd who watched for the sheep's welfare, but David affirms that Jehovah­Rohi watched over the shepherd's own needs and safety.  He said, ''The Lord is my shepherd."  He knew that the Lord was present to protect, lead, and provide pasture to David. 
            Notice the simplicity of this statement: 
The            This is not just one of the many false gods of the pagan people of David's generation.  
                   This was the one Lord, the one God. 
Lord          David's shepherd was the God of all the universe.
Is               This shepherd was not in the past tense, or the future tense. He was in the present
                   tense. The Psalmist knew that He is now the shepherd.
My              Jehovah-Rohi was not the shepherd of David 's lambs. David was His lamb, and we can
                   also say today,“He is my shepherd.”
Shepherd We would probably have needed to live in a day when shepherds kept their sheep to
                   understand the full impact of what it means to have such a good shepherd watching
                   over us.
            For us today, it is important to know that we belong to God's flock by faith in Christ.  Jesus has assured us, ''I am the Good Shepherd, and the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep." (John 10:11) It is also thrilling to know that Jesus has told us of ''other sheep'' that would ''also come'' and ''be one flock." He is prophesying the world-wide call to people from every nation to join with Jewish believers in ''one flock- His true church." (John 10:16) 
            All the wonderful and happy benefits described in Psalms 23 belonged to the believer by virtue of his belonging to Christ - this wonderful, strong, thoughtful, and caring Shepherd. So, when we need guidance, food, protection, or comfort, let us, like David of old, look beyond the hills to Jehovah­Rohi, the Lord my Shepherd.

            Pray today for the Kurds. They are mainly of the ancient Yezidi religion, and some are Shi'a Muslim. The growing Kurdish church is reaching out to Kurds in Annenia and elsewhere. Pray for the necessary resources for them to continue this outreach, and that the 25 million Kurdish people may be reached.