King David was the author of Psalm 23. This Psalm is one of the most beloved chapters in all of scripture. It is believed David wrote this Psalm during his reign as King of Israel while reflecting on his former calling. David, having started out as a shepherd in his youth, could easily picture God in the role of a shepherd caring for His sheep. David was only one of many who was led to describe God as a shepherd, but his description is the most endearing and well known of all.
King Solomon referred to God as a Shepherd in Ecclesiastes 12:11. Isaiah 40:11 tells us that the Lord will feed His flock like a shepherd and He will gather the lambs in His arms. The prophet Micah invited the LORD to Shepherd His people with His staff…as in days of old. (Micah 7:14) Zechariah 13:7 speaks of the Messiah as the Shepherd that will be struck, and the sheep scattered. This reference from the prophet Zechariah was also found in Matthew 26:31. Hebrews 13:20 refers of Jesus as that great Shepherd of the sheep. 1 Peter 2:25 calls Jesus the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls while 1 Peter 5:4 calls Jesus the Chief Shepherd.
A shepherd’s work was considered the lowest of all work a man could do. This was true in all of Israel and in many other ancient societies. If a family needed a shepherd, it was always the youngest son, like David, who got this unpleasant assignment. For David to assign this lowly position unto the Lord God Almighty indicates that David’s understanding of God as a shepherd was a divine revelation.
Jesus would eventually reveal Himself as a shepherd in the words of John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Then again in John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, I know My own and My own know Me.”
We should take great comfort in knowing our Lord has chosen the lowly position of Shepherd of His sheep because of His great love for us. David said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” We get distracted at times and find ourselves into dangerous situations, but we are safe in the arms of our shepherd. David killed the lion and the bear to protect his sheep and God is our protector from all danger. Our shepherd is everything we need. What could we possibly want for, when we have Jesus?