The Supply Concept: “The LORD is my shepherd...” (Psalm 23:1). In the previous devotions, under The Shepherd Concept, it has been noted that Christ is The Good Shepherd (as such, He made provision for the Sheep); He is The Great Shepherd (as such, He performed His will for the Sheep). And in this devotion, we look at the last major characteristic; Christ is The Chief Shepherd of the Sheep. Here we see The Supply Concept – The Pay Day.
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:4)
Here the Apostle Peter speaks of a reward at Christ’s Appearing; it is called the “crown of glory.” One aspect of this reward is the believer’s knowledge that he possesses Eternal Life (or Christ, who is Eternal Life (1 John 5:20), living in him). The second aspect is that he (the believer) will spend eternity in the Presence of Christ.
Not only has, is, and shall “my shepherd” carry me through the steps of Sanctification unto Glorification (2 Corinthians 3:18), there are rewards in this Process of Sanctification. These rewards are as follows:
1) “I shall not want.”
There is no limitation included in David’s confession. God has, will, and shall continue to meet every need of His Sheep. “Not want”; this is a Promise. And it is backed up by the experience of every Born from Above Child of God:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
This supply is in the physical area as well as in the spiritual. (See Psalms 37:23-25, 28, 31-40.) The knowledge of this promise, and the experience of His supply, brings assurance and confidence that we shall never be without His supply for all of our needs:
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalms 37:23)
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” (Psalms 37:24)
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25)
“For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever…” (Psalms 37:28)
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” (Psalms 37:31)
“The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. (32) The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.” (Psalms 37:32-33)
“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” (Psalms 37:34)
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalms 37:37)
“But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.” (Psalms 37:39)
“And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.” (Psalms 37:40)
Therefore, there is no “want” – physically or spiritually – under the Shepherd’s care.
2) “I will fear no evil.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (David said, even though I face death), I will fear no evil.”
How could David say this? Two reasons:
a) “For thou art with me.” Paul wrote in Hebrews 13:5c, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And God told Joshua “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5)
This promise is based on the Power of Christ; He defeated the devil and death (Hebrews 2:14). Christ is victorious over all enemies, even sin and its curse. Therefore, when Christ lives in a person, that person is heir to Christ’s Victory:
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
Christ is Perfect Love; and Perfect Love casteth out fear:
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Therefore, the Sheep have no fear of evil; for even if the body is destroyed, the spirit can never be destroyed, because the Sheep possess Eternal Life, who is Christ (1 John 3:24; 5:20). Evil cannot separate the Sheep from God, Who is Love (Romans 8:29-39). The person who has received the Spirit of Adoption knows eternal death has no hold on him (Romans 8:1-2). He knows he has been raised from death (spiritual death) in Christ (Romans 6:4).
This knowledge brings peace and rest to the believer. It is not his power and victory that bring peace and rest; but the power and victory of Christ, “the LORD,” “my shepherd.” It is because He is God and God has the Victory over all enemies; proven in Christ’s Resurrection and the Sheep’s regeneration.
b) “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The rod and staff are symbols of His Authority; His Rulership; His Person (God); His Position (my Shepherd); His Performance (of Sanctification); and His Payday (His Rewards).
Here, this knowledge comforts me. (See 2 Corinthians 4:8-18, especially verses 16-18.)
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Even if and when my body is destroyed, my spirit is secure in Christ; this is the greatest of all comfort.
3) “I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever”
David had reference to the Tabernacle, specifically the Holy of Holies, where the Shekinah Glory of God dwelt on earth; which he called “the house of the LORD.” David said the final reward is, “I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” That is, David knew he would be in God’s Presence, now and all eternity.
When looking at the New Testament, “the House of the LORD” (His dwelling place) is the Church (Ephesians 2:20-22; 3:1-21; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Peter 2:9). When a person is baptized by the Spirit of God into Christ’s Body:
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
Then he is a part of the Temple of God, which is the Church (1 Corinthians 3:16). (See John 14:21-25; 15:1-10.) This position in Christ is forever (Romans 8:29-39; John 10:27-30; 17:11). “The house of the LORD“; “…the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), is the Place of Sanctification, even Glorification. It is the place the Child of God learns of his oneness in Christ (John 17:21-24). It is also the place of continual blessings:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalms 23:6)
Pay Day is to (a) never want, (b) never fear, (c) always be in His Presence. O, how beautiful is “my Shepherd.” For the LORD (Jehovah, Jesus, Savior, God) is my Shepherd; who has risen from the dead:
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18)
He is in His Temple, the Lord of Glory, victorious; and I am an heir of God and a joint-heir of Christ (Romans 8:17).
Hallelujah! O, what a Savior I have, “my Shepherd.”