The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Even as David came to be a victorious and a powerful warrior king, he never forgot his experience as caretaker of his father Jesse’s sheep. He always understood the great responsibility that rested on his shoulders every time he took out the sheep to graze. In the grazing lands near Bethlehem marauding lions and bears continually threatened the flock and it was necessary that the pastor be always alert to protect their animals from attack by the hungry beasts. Based on these important experiences, David never had trouble understanding the significant role that God played in his life. It was David who wrote: “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.” He understood perfectly that his security depended entirely on the care of God and that although the enemy was on the prowl around his people, he could feel totally safe because the Lord was safeguarding them and would not allow the enemy to cause them harm.
His bold heart allowed him to handle seemingly disparate concepts of war and grazing. He understood that the Lord was strength and a fortress of salvation and he was also pastor of the flock where David was just one more sheep.
We, like King David, can now synthesize these two aspects of the nature of God that look conflicting at first sight. We can rest in the fact that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who gave his life for us, his sheep and because we know him and recognize him as our pastor, we follow him when we hear his sweet and yet martial voice. His deadly (for the beasts) shepherd’s staff scares the vicious vermin away. To God alone be the glory!