The Properties of a Good Shepherd
Psalm 23:1-6
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.…

1. One is science: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, saith Christ (John 10:14). A skilful knowledge, by which he must understand how to handle them or deal with them.

2. A second is providence. The good shepherd provideth pasture and water for the sheep, and always that which is wholesome, lest the sheep rot and die; as he is not negligent that the sheep want feeding, so he is diligent that they have wholesome feeding (Ezekiel 34:13). The Lord will provide sufficient pasture, and the best too.

3. A third is guidance, He doth not leave them to the misguidance of sin or Satan, or the world, or their own hearts.

4. A fourth is vigilance. The sheep are weaponless, weak, unarmed creatures, and they have many and strong enemies, as the lion and the wolf and the dog. Jacob watched night and day (Genesis 31:40). Such a Shepherd is God over His people; His eye is ever over them (1 Peter 3:12).

5. To which, as a part, may be added defence. He is my defence, saith David (Psalm 59:9). The Prophet Zachary calls Him a wall of fire round about His people (Zechariah 2:5).

6. The good shepherd does not only provide pasture but coverture also for the sheep: he hath his shady places from the sun, and retiring places from the storms, to refresh, as well as to flesh the sheep (Psalm 121:5).

7. A seventh property of a good shepherd is tender prudence, for in a flock of sheep there is great diversity: one part may be strong sheep, and they are driven; another part may be weak lambs, and they are sometimes carried by the shepherd. Some of the sheep may be sound and well, others may be diseased; some keep in better, others are more apt to stray (Isaiah 40:11).

8. Lastly, diligence and care, lest any one sheep be lost and perish. The good shepherd would not lose any of the least of all the flock.

(O. Sedgwick, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David.} The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

WEB: Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.

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