The Good Shepherd
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
The following excerpt is from Sermon V of Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol. 4, titled, “The Good Shepherd.”
First, then, we say there is a certain confession necessary before a man can join in these words; we must feel that there is something in us which is akin to the sheep; we must acknowledge that in some measure we exactly resemble it, or else we can not call God our shepherd.
Well, I think the first apprehension we shall have, if the Lord has brought us into this condition, is this — we shall be conscious of our own folly; we shall feel how unwise we always are.
A sheep is one of the most unwise of creatures. It will go anywhere except in the right direction; it will leave a fat pasture to wander into a barren one; it will find out many ways but not the right way; it would wander through a wood, and find its way through ravines into the wolf’s jaws, but never by its wariness turn away from the wolf; it could wander near his den, but it would not instinctively turn aside from the place of danger; it knoweth how to go astray, but it knoweth not how to come home again.
The sheep is foolish. Left to itself, it would not know in what pasture to feed in summer, or whither to retire in winter.
Have we ever been brought to feel that in matters of providence, as well as in things of grace, we are truly and entirely foolish? Methinks, no man can trust providence till he distrusts himself; and no one can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” until he has given up every idle notion that he can control himself, or manage his own interests.
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C.H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol. 4 (1883; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), 76-77.