A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

4.5 18
by W. Phillip Keller

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A classic is reborn in a resplendent edition full of inspiring insight from Psalm 23 and beautiful original artwork.

The Lod is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want. The truth and comfort of these familiar words spring to life in this excerpted gift edition of W. Phillip Keller's classic work, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. Based on his years as a keeper of sheep,…  See more details below


A classic is reborn in a resplendent edition full of inspiring insight from Psalm 23 and beautiful original artwork.

The Lod is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want. The truth and comfort of these familiar words spring to life in this excerpted gift edition of W. Phillip Keller's classic work, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. Based on his years as a keeper of sheep, Keller infuses new hope and meaning into our relationship with Christ, the Good Shepherd. As we lie down in green pastures or walk through the shadowy valley, we're assured that whatever our path, whatever our stumbling, the Shepherd will lovingly guide, carry, and protect us. We can depend on His goodness and mercy all the days of our lives.

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"The Lord Is My Shepherd"

The Lord! But who is the Lord? What is His character? Does He have adequate credentials to be my Shepherd--my manager--my owner?

And if He does--how do I come under His control? In what way do I become the object of His concern and diligent care?

These are penetrating, searching questions, and they deserve honest and basic examination.

One of the calamities of Christianity is our tendency to talk in ambiguous generalities.

David, the author of the poem, himself a shepherd and the son of a shepherd, later to be known as the "Shepherd King" of Israel, stated explicitly, "The Lord is my Shepherd." To whom did he refer?

He referred to Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel.

His statement was confirmed by Jesus the Christ. When He was God incarnate amongst men, He declared emphatically, "I am the good Shepherd."

But who was this Christ?

Our view of Him is often too small--too cramped--too provincial--too human. And because it is, we feel unwilling to allow Him to have authority or control--much less outright ownership of our lives.

He it was who was directly responsible for the creation of all things both natural and supernatural (see Colossians 1: 15-20).

If we pause to reflect on the person of Christ--on His power and His achievements--suddenly like David we will be glad to state proudly, "The Lord--He is my Shepherd!"

But before we do this it helps to hold clearly in mind the particular part played upon our history by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

God the Father is God the author--the originator of all that exists. It was in His mind, first, that all took shape.

God the Son, our Saviour, is God the artisan--the artist, the Creator of all that exists. He brought into being all that had been originally formulated in His Father's mind.

God the Holy Spirit is God the agent who presents these facts to both my mind and my spiritual understanding so that they become both real and relative to me as an individual.

Now the beautiful relationships given to us repeatedly in Scripture between God and man are those of a father to his children and a shepherd to his sheep. These concepts were first conceived in the mind of God our Father. They were made possible and practical through the work of Christ. They are confirmed and made real in me through the agency of the gracious Holy Spirit.

So when the simple--though sublime--statement is made by a man or woman that "The Lord is my Shepherd," it immediately implies a profound yet practical working relationship between a human being and his Maker.

It links a lump of common clay to divine destiny--it means a mere mortal becomes the cherished object of divine diligence.

This thought alone should stir my spirit, quicken my own sense of awareness, and lend enormous dignity to myself as an individual. To think that God in Christ is deeply concerned about me as a particular person immediately gives great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet.

And the greater, the wider, the more majestic my concept is of the Christ--the more vital will be my relationship to Him. Obviously, David, in this Psalm, is speaking not as the shepherd, though he was one, but as a sheep; one of the flock. He spoke with a strong sense of pride and devotion and admiration. It was as though he literally boasted aloud, "Look at who my shepherd is--my owner--my manager!" The Lord is!

After all, he knew from firsthand experience that the lot in life of any particular sheep depended on the type of man who owned it. Some men were gentle, kind, intelligent, brave, and selfless in their devotion to their stock. Under one man sheep would struggle, starve, and suffer endless hardship. In another's care they would flourish and thrive contentedly.

So if the Lord is my Shepherd I should know something of His character and understand something of His ability.

To meditate on this I frequently go out at night to walk alone under the stars and remind myself of His majesty and might. Looking up at the star-studded sky I remember that at least 250,000,000 x 250,000,000 such bodies--each larger than our sun, one of the smallest of the stars--have been scattered across the vast spaces of the universe by His hand. I recall that the planet earth, which is my temporary home for a few short years, is so minute a speck of matter in space that if it were possible to transport our most powerful telescope to our nearest neighbor star, Alpha Centauri, and look back this way, the earth could not be seen, even with the aid of that powerful instrument.

All this is a bit humbling. It drains the "ego" from a man and puts things in proper perspective. It makes me see myself as a mere mite of material in an enormous universe. Yet the staggering fact remains that Christ, the Creator of such an enormous universe of overwhelming magnitude, deigns to call Himself my Shepherd and invites me to consider myself His sheep--His special object of affection and attention. Who better could care for me?

By the same sort of process I stoop down and pick up a handful of soil from the backyard or roadside. Placing it under an electron microscope I am astounded to discover it teems with billions upon billions of micro-organisms. Many of them are so complex in their own peculiar cellular structure that even a fraction of their functions in the earth are not yet properly understood.

Yes, He the Christ--the Son of God--brought all of this into being. From the most gigantic galaxy to the most minute microbe, all function flawlessly in accordance with definite laws of order and unity which are utterly beyond the mind of finite man to master.

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Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful, inspirational book!! I could recommend it to anyone I know. The author, Phillip Keller, wholeheartedly sets out to completely make you understand what each part of Psalm 23 truly means. That passage of scripture is one that we all know by heart, but after reading this book you'll view those 6 verses in a whole new light. * It reminded me that I belong to Him, even with my sinful downfalls. * It made me think about how we really are like sheep, trustfully following our Shepherd. * It taught me to keep pursuing after God's will and to forget my own. * It made me realize that I am part of His flock, and even when bad times come, He'll always be there to rescue me. You'll be amazed at how this sheep farmer writes a book to tell you how much like a sheep that you are. I learned many new things about sheep in this book, and loved that part of the spectrum. Excellent choice of book for anyone who is interested! "He is the owner who delights in his flock..." -page 35
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, it changed my life and how I see God. God IS the Good Shepherd and this book is written by a shepherd explaining Psalm 23 in the bible. Read it and buy extras to give special people looking at spirituality. After reading this, you will want to buy the same author's "The Shepherd Trilogy", which includes this book and 2 others under one cover for $9.99. Highly Recommend.
ZEST4BOOKS More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent way of showing God's (the Shepherd's) love for his people (sheep) while telling a very interesting story as well. In my opinion, it is the best explanation of the 23 Psalm that I have read. And when you are finished reading it, I do believe you could manage a sheep farm! It was a very easy, quick read but with great insight. I will look for more of this author's works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A new outlook on we as sheep, and the Lord as our Shepherd. Amazing!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written by a shepherd, David, Psalm 23 is deciphered by a modern day shepherd. The author compares a shepherd taking care of his sheep to the Lord pastoring us. He gives an example of a bad shepherd, his neighbor, and a good shepherd's care and love. His explanations of our likeness to sheep is an eye opener.
Frogcopter More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I see the Good Shepherd in an entirely new light. The reason for everything the shepherd does with the sheep correlates to the picture of Christ, the Good Shepherd, as He guides His flock. We chose this book as a guide in Bible Study for a small group and found it to be an inspirational look into why people so closely resemble sheep in the pasture. Mr. Keller's experience and wisdom help Psalm 23's six verses to come alive with twenty-first century meaning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book that would provide me with insight into the Bible and the correlation betwen us, God's children, and sheep and here came this wonderful book. Mr. Keller wrote such a beautiful story. He, bit by bit explained the life cycle of the sheep and the loving role of the Shepherd always following the verses of the 23rd Psalms. I am amazed. I always thought that Psalm 23 was for the dying. I was so wrong. Mr Keller tells us how it is very much for the living. He gave us an inspiration to life by describing the role of the shepherd and his sheep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author brought this Psalm to life for me by sharing his experiences as a real-life shepherd. It gave me a better understanding of my relationship with the Lord and how God sees me as one of his sheep. The book was thought-provoking and inspirational. I thoroughly recommend it for personal reading or as a companion to a Bible Study.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely fell in love with this book. I plan to purchase additional copies to give as Christmas gifts. The book gives a whole new insight into not only the 23rd Psalm but into Christ's tremendous love for all of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a shepherd, he presents truths each one pertaining to the psalm line. Not only that, he shares his own experiences. This is a wonderful book. I fell in love with this book 5 years ago, and have just purchased it again! A must-read!
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gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Short, simple, easy to understand. The writer, from his own personal experience as a shepherd correlates to Psalm 23. The analogies, explanations, insights & illumination are awesome! He walks us through the Psalm, drawing parallels to Psalm 23 & his life as a shepherd.  Encouraging & faith inspiring! I will read other books by this author.  He's good!
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