El Roi – The Good Shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. 

He leads me beside still waters. 

He restores my soul.” 

    Psalm 23:1-3a

We know that El in Hebrew means God. Ro’iy in Hebrew means shepherd or looking, seeing or gazing. We have already discovered that El Roi means the God who sees me. This is such a tender name for God and I don’t know about you but studying this name just makes me feel cared for. Throughout scripture there are comparisons made to the shepherd caring for his sheep and the way God cares for us. Today we will look at the first couple of verses of the 23rd Psalm. It is believed that David was already a king when he wrote this Psalm. However, he knew the life of a shepherd, so David was not writing about something he knew nothing about. He knew the way he had cared for his sheep when he was a shepherd and David was making all the comparisons that God cared for him much the same way he had cared for his sheep. 

The sheep that David had cared for needed nothing when they were under the shepherds care. Some translations of this Psalm say “I lack nothing” instead of “I shall not want”. I must ask myself when I read it that way, what do I think I am lacking? Am I looking on the Lord as my shepherd in such a way that if he never answered another prayer for me I can honestly say I lack nothing. Is he enough for me? Am I coming to God daily with my wants, my desires, my requests, and laying them at His feet just to get something from Him, to get answers. Or when I come to Him is that enough even if I don’t get the answers I desire? Is His care for me enough? When you read this Psalm of David it seems to be it was enough. Of course we can argue that David was a king but scripture is also pretty transparent that even though David was a king, his household was far from perfect. 

When David was a shepherd he knew when his sheep needed rest. He would make them to lie down in green pastures and rest. He knew when they were thirsty and he would lead them to the water so they could drink. He knew that leading his sheep to a green pasture where there was still water nearby would make them feel safe and secure. David was looking to God for his own rest and nourishment so that he would feel safe and secure and the safety and security he would receive from God would restore His soul. I love that David penned this Psalm for us. 

When things get anxious for you as they do for all of us because, well that is just the world we live in, where do you go for safety and security? Do we turn to God to let Him restore our soul or do we turn to the world? Do we binge on television and/or Netflix? Or do we spend time with Him. Our Elohim who created us, who knows us inside out, our El Roi who sees us and knows what nourishment our soul needs. I have to admit that there have been plenty of times in my life I have looked at the wrong things when I was under stress and/or had anxiety building. I have looked to food or friends or other things to fill me up. But on those occasions that I bring my stress and my anxiety and my worries and my hurts to God, I will always walk away feeling rested and restored. No, I can’t promise you that your circumstances will change on a dime. But much like Hagar when she returned to Abraham’s household, El Roi will see you through whatever comes if we just keep looking to Him for restoration. 

Author: Sonia Sticker

I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee, woman. And I simply need more JESUS in my life!

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