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A Sweet and Comforting Name

March 18, 2019
By Martin Luther

The LORD is my shepherd.

PSALM 23:1

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A Sweet and Comforting Name

Some of the other names which Scripture gives God sound almost too splendid and majestic and at once arouse awe and fear when we hear them mentioned; for example, when Scripture calls God our Lord, King, Creator, etc. The little word "shepherd," however, is not of that kind but has a very friendly sound. When the devout read or hear it, it immediately grants them a confidence, a comfort, and a sense of security that the word "father" and others grant when they are attributed to God. Therefore this metaphor is one of the most beautiful and comforting and yet most common of all in Scripture, when it compares His Divine Majesty to a pious, faithful, or as Christ says, "good shepherd" (John 10:14), and compares us poor, weak, miserable sinners to sheep. One can, however, understand this comforting and beautiful picture best when one goes to nature, from which the Prophets have taken this picture and similar ones, and carefully learns from it the traits and characteristics of a natural sheep and the office, the work, and the care of a pious shepherd. Whoever does this carefully, will not only readily understand this comparison and others in Scripture concerning the shepherd and the sheep, but will also find the comparisons exceedingly sweet and comforting.

From Commentary on Psalm 23 (Luther's Works 12:152-53)

March 118

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