FEBRUARY 15, 2024

Psalm 27:8-9

The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance. Shepherd them also, and bear them up forever.

In the previous devotion, we explored the notion that God is our source for strength allowing us to withstand the attacks of the enemy, as well as shielding us from any missiles launched at us. In the verses above, David — who had been petitioning God on his own behalf — prays for the sake of the people of Israel, who he refers to as God's “inheritance.” The Hebrew word used here is of interest because, according to Jewish belief, “Your inheritance” hints at prophetic elements. Specifically, David seems to referring to the time in the future when all Israel will be together in the land living under the authority of the Messiah.

It is of interest, also, that David prays that the LORD will “shepherd them” and “bear them up” — literally elevate them — forever. This wording is also pregnant with prophetic themes. Being a prophet, as well as a king, David was aware that a time would come when Israel would be scattered through the nations, forced to live beneath the heel of her oppressors (Moses had spoken this long before; see Deuteronomy 4:25-31). Realizing they would be as lost sheep having no shepherd, David prayed that the LORD Himself would be their shepherd — keeping watch over them and guiding them until the day came He would bring them back into their own land. In that day, David understood that God would elevate them above all other nations, never again to be subservient to oppressors. As it is written:

“For thus says the Lord God: Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered.” (Ezekiel 34:11-12)

What has this to do with you and me? As it is written, “We are all His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3), and we “like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). But He is our Shepherd who watches over His people wherever they may be, never losing sight of them. Though we sometimes wander, He will guide us back to where we are supposed to be, and in so doing, bear us up above our oppressor, Sin. As His people, we are His inheritance; as for me that means that He is determined to never let go of what belongs to Him. Let us be thankful that He, our Good Shepherd, has not only saved us; He will save us and bring us safely into His Kingdom to live under His care forever, amen.

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