Blog Archive

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

YHWH Roeh-iy / YHWH My Shepherd

For July, each post examines an Old Testament name of God.

YHWH Roeh-iy / YHWH My Shepherd
(pronounced: "yahd hay vahv hay r-OH-ee")

A Psalm of David.
YHWH is my shepherd—
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul ...
~ Psalms 23:1-3 (author)

Behold, the Lord GOD [Adonai YHWH] ...
He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
~ Isaiah 40:10-11 (NKJV)

"The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."
~ John 10:11-14 (NKJV)

Is any passage in all of Scripture more beloved than the 23rd Psalm?

The words carry the gentle and comforting voice of the shepherd David, who well understood the utter helplessness of sheep.

It seems every other creature has some form of natural defense, whether by fight or flight. Not so for sheep. Their only defense is their shepherd, who watches for danger and guards his flock even at the cost of his life.

It seems every other creature has some instinct for survival. Sheep must be guided to good pasture and water and restrained from danger. They'll readily follow each other over a cliff or drown themselves without a shepherd to look out for them. The only intelligence sheep demonstrate is the ability to distinguish the voice of their own shepherd from all others.

And from what I've heard, no other creature so thoroughly evokes affection. I observed such affection in a relative who grew up among sheep and asked what made sheep so lovable. No answer could be articulated except, "If you ever held a lamb you'd understand."

We have a God who inexplicably loves us with tender affection. He looks out for us and guides us and offers to see to our protection. Like any good shepherd, our Shepherd knows His sheep well because His eyes never leave us.

The Hebrew verb for "to shepherd" is raah (רעה), and is related to the verb raah (ראה) which means "to see." Interestingly enough, the former verb, used for shepherding, can also mean "to closely associate with, to be a companion or friend."

David's psalm begins with the personal name of God, YHWH. Rather than refer to YHWH as *a* shepherd, or even *the* shepherd, David calls YHWH "*my* Shepherd," for He knows his Shepherd's voice.

Though human eyes cannot look upon our Shepherd, we can feel His Own affectionate eyes upon us. We can recognize His voice. And in being given the high privilege of calling Him Friend, may we hold Him as close as we might a friend who is never far from sight in our hearts.

Feedback appreciated! Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Yes, He is my faithful Shepherd.

  2. My favorite paragraph was the one where you wrote about distinguishing HIS voice! Question on thinking I'll send you a message elsewhere.

    ~ Wendy

  3. I loves U JESUS CHRIST!!^^

  4. To my anonymous guest ~
    Thank you for stopping by. I loves Him too!


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