A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23: Reflections from the Bestselling Book by W. Philip Keller

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23: Reflections from the Bestselling Book by W. Philip Keller


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Large Print Edition. More than a quarter-century and 1.5 million copies since it was first published, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 continues to inspire and encourage with its now-classic insights into the heart of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Drawing on what he learned during his own years as a shepherd, Phillip Keller leads and prods the reader to the green pastures of discovery and the cool waters of fulfillment hidden in the "Shepherd Psalm." Pleasure and enlightenment await those willing to follow his careful leading. Page by page, Keller reveals new facets of the Shepherd of Psalm 23 and his untiring expression of Christ's love for those who trust in him as their guide, protector, source of provision, and faithful keeper. Experience Psalm 23 in a new way. See with the Shepherd's eyes, touch with his hands, and feel with his heart through this intimate look into the person of our Lord, the Great Shepherd . . . and ourselves, the "sheep of his pasture."

Author Biography: The late W. Phillip Keller was born in East Africa and always loved the out-of-doors. He was trained in agronomy and subsequently spent many years on ranches in British Columbia. He lived among and observed sheep and their relationship to the shepherd. Out of this rich, practical experience, came the best-selling book from which this book was excerpted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310810100
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication date: 10/01/2005
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.36(w) x 6.54(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range: 1 - 3 Years

About the Author

The late W. Phillip Keller was born in East Africa and always loved the out-of-doors. He was trained in agronomy and subsequently spent many years on ranches in British Columbia. He lived among and observed sheep and their relationship to the shepherd. Out of this rich, practical experience, came the best-selling book from which this book was excerpted.

Read an Excerpt

"The Lord Is My Shepherd"

The Lord! But who is the Lord? What is His character? Does He have adequate credentials to be my Shepherd--my manager--my owner?

And if He does--how do I come under His control? In what way do I become the object of His concern and diligent care?

These are penetrating, searching questions, and they deserve honest and basic examination.

One of the calamities of Christianity is our tendency to talk in ambiguous generalities.

David, the author of the poem, himself a shepherd and the son of a shepherd, later to be known as the "Shepherd King" of Israel, stated explicitly, "The Lord is my Shepherd." To whom did he refer?

He referred to Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel.

His statement was confirmed by Jesus the Christ. When He was God incarnate amongst men, He declared emphatically, "I am the good Shepherd."

But who was this Christ?

Our view of Him is often too small--too cramped--too provincial--too human. And because it is, we feel unwilling to allow Him to have authority or control--much less outright ownership of our lives.

He it was who was directly responsible for the creation of all things both natural and supernatural (see Colossians 1: 15-20).

If we pause to reflect on the person of Christ--on His power and His achievements--suddenly like David we will be glad to state proudly, "The Lord--He is my Shepherd!"

But before we do this it helps to hold clearly in mind the particular part played upon our history by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

God the Father is God the author--the originator of all that exists. It was in His mind, first, that all took shape.

God the Son, our Saviour, is God the artisan--the artist, the Creator of all that exists. He brought into being all that had been originally formulated in His Father's mind.

God the Holy Spirit is God the agent who presents these facts to both my mind and my spiritual understanding so that they become both real and relative to me as an individual.

Now the beautiful relationships given to us repeatedly in Scripture between God and man are those of a father to his children and a shepherd to his sheep. These concepts were first conceived in the mind of God our Father. They were made possible and practical through the work of Christ. They are confirmed and made real in me through the agency of the gracious Holy Spirit.

So when the simple--though sublime--statement is made by a man or woman that "The Lord is my Shepherd," it immediately implies a profound yet practical working relationship between a human being and his Maker.

It links a lump of common clay to divine destiny--it means a mere mortal becomes the cherished object of divine diligence.

This thought alone should stir my spirit, quicken my own sense of awareness, and lend enormous dignity to myself as an individual. To think that God in Christ is deeply concerned about me as a particular person immediately gives great purpose and enormous meaning to my short sojourn upon this planet.

And the greater, the wider, the more majestic my concept is of the Christ--the more vital will be my relationship to Him. Obviously, David, in this Psalm, is speaking not as the shepherd, though he was one, but as a sheep; one of the flock. He spoke with a strong sense of pride and devotion and admiration. It was as though he literally boasted aloud, "Look at who my shepherd is--my owner--my manager!" The Lord is!

After all, he knew from firsthand experience that the lot in life of any particular sheep depended on the type of man who owned it. Some men were gentle, kind, intelligent, brave, and selfless in their devotion to their stock. Under one man sheep would struggle, starve, and suffer endless hardship. In another's care they would flourish and thrive contentedly.

So if the Lord is my Shepherd I should know something of His character and understand something of His ability.

To meditate on this I frequently go out at night to walk alone under the stars and remind myself of His majesty and might. Looking up at the star-studded sky I remember that at least 250,000,000 x 250,000,000 such bodies--each larger than our sun, one of the smallest of the stars--have been scattered across the vast spaces of the universe by His hand. I recall that the planet earth, which is my temporary home for a few short years, is so minute a speck of matter in space that if it were possible to transport our most powerful telescope to our nearest neighbor star, Alpha Centauri, and look back this way, the earth could not be seen, even with the aid of that powerful instrument.

All this is a bit humbling. It drains the "ego" from a man and puts things in proper perspective. It makes me see myself as a mere mite of material in an enormous universe. Yet the staggering fact remains that Christ, the Creator of such an enormous universe of overwhelming magnitude, deigns to call Himself my Shepherd and invites me to consider myself His sheep--His special object of affection and attention. Who better could care for me?

By the same sort of process I stoop down and pick up a handful of soil from the backyard or roadside. Placing it under an electron microscope I am astounded to discover it teems with billions upon billions of micro-organisms. Many of them are so complex in their own peculiar cellular structure that even a fraction of their functions in the earth are not yet properly understood.

Yes, He the Christ--the Son of God--brought all of this into being. From the most gigantic galaxy to the most minute microbe, all function flawlessly in accordance with definite laws of order and unity which are utterly beyond the mind of finite man to master.

Table of Contents

1. "The Lord Is My Shepherd"
2. "I Shall Not Want"
3. "He Maketh Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures"
4. "He Leadeth Me Beside the Still Waters"
5. "He Restoreth My Soul"
6. "He Leadeth Me in the Paths of Righteousness for His Name's Sake"
7. "Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley..."
8. "Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me"
9. "Thou Preparest a Table Before Me ..."
10. "Thou Anointest My Head with Oil ..."
11. "Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me ..."
12. "I Will Dwell in the House of the Lord for Ever"

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Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful, inspirational book!! I could recommend it to anyone I know. The author, Phillip Keller, wholeheartedly sets out to completely make you understand what each part of Psalm 23 truly means. That passage of scripture is one that we all know by heart, but after reading this book you'll view those 6 verses in a whole new light. * It reminded me that I belong to Him, even with my sinful downfalls. * It made me think about how we really are like sheep, trustfully following our Shepherd. * It taught me to keep pursuing after God's will and to forget my own. * It made me realize that I am part of His flock, and even when bad times come, He'll always be there to rescue me. You'll be amazed at how this sheep farmer writes a book to tell you how much like a sheep that you are. I learned many new things about sheep in this book, and loved that part of the spectrum. Excellent choice of book for anyone who is interested! "He is the owner who delights in his flock..." -page 35
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helped me see God my Savior in a way that brings me comfort and peace during hard times. I was amazed by all that a good shepherd does for his flock and the correlation between how God deals with me in my life. A wonderful devotional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, it changed my life and how I see God. God IS the Good Shepherd and this book is written by a shepherd explaining Psalm 23 in the bible. Read it and buy extras to give special people looking at spirituality. After reading this, you will want to buy the same author's "The Shepherd Trilogy", which includes this book and 2 others under one cover for $9.99. Highly Recommend.
ZEST4BOOKS More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent way of showing God's (the Shepherd's) love for his people (sheep) while telling a very interesting story as well. In my opinion, it is the best explanation of the 23 Psalm that I have read. And when you are finished reading it, I do believe you could manage a sheep farm! It was a very easy, quick read but with great insight. I will look for more of this author's works.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A new outlook on we as sheep, and the Lord as our Shepherd. Amazing!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Written by a shepherd, David, Psalm 23 is deciphered by a modern day shepherd. The author compares a shepherd taking care of his sheep to the Lord pastoring us. He gives an example of a bad shepherd, his neighbor, and a good shepherd's care and love. His explanations of our likeness to sheep is an eye opener.
Frogcopter More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I see the Good Shepherd in an entirely new light. The reason for everything the shepherd does with the sheep correlates to the picture of Christ, the Good Shepherd, as He guides His flock. We chose this book as a guide in Bible Study for a small group and found it to be an inspirational look into why people so closely resemble sheep in the pasture. Mr. Keller's experience and wisdom help Psalm 23's six verses to come alive with twenty-first century meaning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book that would provide me with insight into the Bible and the correlation betwen us, God's children, and sheep and here came this wonderful book. Mr. Keller wrote such a beautiful story. He, bit by bit explained the life cycle of the sheep and the loving role of the Shepherd always following the verses of the 23rd Psalms. I am amazed. I always thought that Psalm 23 was for the dying. I was so wrong. Mr Keller tells us how it is very much for the living. He gave us an inspiration to life by describing the role of the shepherd and his sheep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author brought this Psalm to life for me by sharing his experiences as a real-life shepherd. It gave me a better understanding of my relationship with the Lord and how God sees me as one of his sheep. The book was thought-provoking and inspirational. I thoroughly recommend it for personal reading or as a companion to a Bible Study.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely fell in love with this book. I plan to purchase additional copies to give as Christmas gifts. The book gives a whole new insight into not only the 23rd Psalm but into Christ's tremendous love for all of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a shepherd, he presents truths each one pertaining to the psalm line. Not only that, he shares his own experiences. This is a wonderful book. I fell in love with this book 5 years ago, and have just purchased it again! A must-read!
NancyGail More than 1 year ago
This book is splendid reading and an understanding of the diligence a caring shepherd exemplifies for his sheep. In comparison, the Great Shepherd of our soul also gives us intensive care.. My friend who battled cancer for four years purchased many of these books to give to those who visited her. At her funeral her family provided every attendee with a copy of this book.
SandyinVegas More than 1 year ago
I have always been fascinated by animals. One day I found this little book on my shelf and added it to my daily devotions, reading one section at a time. Think you know sheep? Guess again. God used them as the perfect example for who we are and how we behave around Him. We are not smart. We do stupid things. We make bad decisions - keep going along this vain. The list is endless. BUT sheep, who have a Shepherd who cares, truly cares, takes care of those sheep, who frankly, are pretty stupid. Each little chapter tells the real life experience of the author as he dealt with a flock of sheep he was shepherd to as it parrots the 23 Psalm. It begs the question - who in their right mind would take on a flock of sheep - where if it can go wrong it will. People are like that in the sight of God. But God, our Good Shepherd, deals with us out of sheer love for us, His sheep. You can only wonder at it all and thank God for that knowledge. And it costs you nothing.
lbigcrum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Lord! But who is the Lord? What is His character? Does He have adequate credentialsto be my Shepherd¿my manager¿my owner? ~ W. Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23Every person who claims to know the 23rd Psalm should read this 173 book. Find out what it really means for a sheep to lie down in green pastures. Discover what the ¿table¿ in the presence of enemies refers to for the shepherd.Never again will I speak a phrase of the 23rd Psalm without thinking of the pictures planted in my mind by this little book. It has given me a feeling of truly being loved and cared for by the Lord, my Shepherd, in the midst of his flock.Learn the depth of meaning of this so often quoted Psalm from the experience of a shepherd.
vigilant20 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a long time that I picked up and just could not force myself to finish reading. It started with a lot of convoluted trinitarian thinking and launched into a very tedious breakdown of Psalm 23, phrase by phrase..where even the most basic ideas required long winded explanations to prove.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Lord is my shepherd," starts the 23rd Psalm. And then it goes from there.It was because of this first line, though, that the Australian shepherd, Phillip Keller, decided to take a look at what this was all about, and what it meant to him, as a shepherd.Keller is admittedly a layperson when it comes to great theological mysteries, so instead of delving into the deep significance of cups runneth-ing over, he instead looks at it in a more simple light.If you are interested in biblical studies, and would like to augment your understanding of the 23rd Psalm, then this book may be of interest to you.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book changed the way I perceived God. I knew in my head that God would never discard me, that salvation is by grace and not works, but through this book, God made that idea real to my heart. My love for Him abounds with no reservations.
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gbautista72 More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Short, simple, easy to understand. The writer, from his own personal experience as a shepherd correlates to Psalm 23. The analogies, explanations, insights & illumination are awesome! He walks us through the Psalm, drawing parallels to Psalm 23 & his life as a shepherd.  Encouraging & faith inspiring! I will read other books by this author.  He's good!
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