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JEHOVAH-ROHI - The LORD is the Shepherd of Your Grieving Heart

Posted Sep 15 2009 10:20pm

Grieving Forward  

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens. Psalm 148:13 NIV

How many names do you have? If you're like me, your parents gave you a first, middle, and last name. Then when I married, I added another last name. Of course, I have a few nicknames that my family affectionately calls me. The point is that each name you are associated with identifies a particular element of your life. My maiden name indicates what family I was born into and my married name identifies me with my husband's family. The nickname my dad gave me as a child reflects his affection for me. Just as I am known by several names, God is known by many names in the Bible. Because no one name can adequately convey all the facets of God's character, He has given us some specific names to teach us some of the aspects of His nature. So far in this series of articles, we have identified  JEHOVAH ( The Great I AM ), JEHOVAH-JIREH ( The LORD who provides ), JEHOVAH-ROPHE ( The LORDwho heals ), JEHOVAH-NISSI ( The LORD is my banner of hope ), and JEHOVAH-SHALOM ( The LORD ismy peace ). Today, we are going to take a look at another name of God: JEHOVAH-ROHI or The LORDmy Shepherd.

Psalm23 Perhaps one of the best known passages in the Bible is the 23rd Psalm.

The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

 ( Psalm 23:1-3NIV )

This is the first time in the Bible the name " The LORD my Shepherd" is used. This name indicates an intimate and personal relationship between the Shepherd and his flock. From this glimpse into the character of God we see that our Heavenly Father desires to be close to His children. In fact, the Hebrew word "rohi" not only means shepherd but also means friend or companion. Above all, God wants to be our best friend. An example of the use of this word is found in the story of Moses and God when God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend ( rohi ). ( See Exodus 33:11 ). Dear broken-hearted one, God wants to take pleasure in you and cherish you. He wants to be your friend and shepherd as you travel the road of grief.

Consider the word " shepherd" and all it implies. If you are a shepherd, your job description would look something like this:

    1. Protect your sheep from wild beasts who want to eat them.
    2. Observe and check your sheep constantly for any evidence of illness.
    3. Tend to any wounds on the sheep.
    4. Sleep with your sheep at night so you can ward off any predators.
    5. Provide food and water for them.
    6. Keep your sheep calm when they are anxious by speaking to them gently.
    7. Provide shelter in the storm.

      TheGoodShepherdwithblacklamb1-1 The perfect example of a Good Shepherd is found in the New Testament:

      "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep." (John 10:11)

      Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He died for you. Now He wants to shepherd you through this awful storm of pain and hurt in your life. Are you willing to let Him do it? You will notice in Psalm 23:1 that it says " The LORD is MY shepherd". He is not just any shepherd; He is your own personal shepherd, friend and companion. Just as a good shepherd picks up a wounded sheep and carries him on his shoulders, Jesus wants to pick you up and carry you right now. Let Him do it.


      1. Read the entire chapter of Psalm 23. Describe the different ways God promises to care for you.
      2. List the ways that Jesus is shepherding your life right now.
      3. Read John 10:1-18. What insight do you gain about how much Jesus loves you.
      4. What has surprised you about your grief journey?
      5. What has been the best thing that happened to you this week?


      The book of Psalms in the Old Testament is actually a collection of songs that were primarily written by King David to express his feelings to God. Today I would like for you to write your own song to God. Now you don't have to actually write a melody - unless you want to. However, I would like you to personalize the 23rd Psalm. For example. I might personalize the first 3 verses of this chapter like this:

      God, I am so glad your are my own personal shepherd, friend and companion.
      I couldn't ask for anything more.
      I know you are providing for all of my needs, both physical and emotional.
      At this very moment, you are doing a mighty work to restore my broken heart and sooth my soul.
      I love you.
      Your sheep,

      Take your time and prayerfully write your song to God. When you're finished, I would suggest that you put it in a frame and set it in a prominent place in your home so you never forget who is carrying you through.

      Beloved sheep of Jesus, I pray that you will lie down in the good pasture provided by JEHOVAH-ROHI who has searched you out. May you feed on the Word of God and be strengthened as your Heavenly Father binds up your wounded heart. ( Based on Ezekiel 34:11-16 )

      Cathey Stott

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