THE PROPHET DAVID wrote the 23d Psalm concerning himself; but in his words there is still deeper signification, namely, that Jehovah is the Shepherd of the antitypical DavidThe Christ, of which Jesus is the Head and the Church His Body.
In proportion as any are in an attitude of mind in harmony with the Lord they are out of harmony with their present environment, in which the great Adversary is seeking their destruction, under conditions unfavorable for their spiritual development as the Lord's "sheep." Foxes, wolves, lions and even cattle have means of defense and offense; but the sheep has practically none. It seems to have no judgment; therefore, the sheep is dependent on the shepherd. In other words, it is out of its environment if away from the shepherd. God provided [R4852 : page 207] for man's protection, but by reason of sin the race got into the wilds and became exposed to various difficulties which otherwise would not have been man's lot.
Those who are the "sheep" will come back into harmony with the Lord. As represented in our text, the Church class comes back in the present time. We all recognize, as the days go by, how necessary is the Divine care. As we come to see the Divine Plan, we see that "all who are of this fold," all those who will come into harmony with God, will have this care; and that eventually there shall be one Shepherd and one flock.
Our Lord Jesus is the representative of the Father. Humanity, as the Lord's sheep, went astray. All of Adam's posterity are now astray. The Great Shepherd sent His Son for the lost sheep. He is seeking them and will ultimately find all who belong to this true flock. He is, therefore, in the highest sense of the word, the Bishop, or Shepherd of our souls, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep.