We are a ministry declaring God's Grace in Truth.



JULY 18th, 1856

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

My first object was to connect these words with all that Ezekiel sets forth in his 34th chapter, which had just been read. I began by referring to verse 24: "I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them." Here evidently the Lord sets forth Christ under the name of David, to signify that it is through Christ's condescension, in being made man of the seed of David, that the perpetual covenant is confirmed: and it is worthy of our notice that in my text, written centuries before Ezekiel's prophecy, David himself triumphs in being one of the flock of that one almighty Shepherd, who (as John the Baptist speaks) coming after him is preferred before him: for he was before him. This heir of David's throne after the flesh, is Lord of heaven and earth, the supreme Jehovah even from everlasting. He it is who magnifies his great name, and his high and exclusive office as the only and the perfect Saviour and Shepherd of his church, in this 34th of Ezekiel. Blessed be his name for doing this! He arraigns all shepherds before him as less than nothing and vanity, who shall dare to dispute his sovereign claim, or intrude themselves as shepherds instead of him. His awful words do not condemn truly humbled under-shepherds, who derive all things exclusively from him; who delight to set him forth, and to magnify him as the almighty Saviour alone. His words in the 10th of John are these, "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers." Brethren, no true ministers come before him, but acknowledge that he is before them in everything. They delight to give this supreme glory to Christ; to be nothing but the voice that proclaims him. All real, all saving religion is contained in the finding out and enjoying of this doctrine of Christ alone. Blessed be his name, again I say, for beating down all the arrogant claims of men; and for declaring, as he does in this 34th of Ezekiel, that "because there is no shepherd" he is always and alone the effectual shepherd, who seeks that which was lost, and brings again that which was driven away, and binds up that which was broken, and strengthens that which was sick: but destroys the fat and strong; for he feeds them with judgment. You see now from all this how safe are all humbled and troubled souls, who are looking for and coming to their almighty Shepherd. This is the only true refuge and defence for our souls upon earth. If we are driven to this rock of defence, then are we Christ's ransomed flock.

Second. It is all this which David means when he writes my text. He so found it in his own case, though he lived long before Christ's incarnation, that he is accustomed to say, "My rock, my strong tower, my refuge, my salvation!" Also because Christ has found him out as a lost sheep going astray (for he so calls himself in the last verse of Psalm 119), therefore he triumphs, saying, "The Lord is my shepherd." In his subsequent words in this Psalm he tells us what he means by adding in the text, "I shall not want." Christ conforts him; Christ restores him; Christ sustains him in the conflict with death and hell; Christ feeds him in the presence of his enemies. See from all this how deep and pressing are his wants. The supply of them all is only in this,--the pastoral care of Christ over him, bringing him safely through.