Yahweh Rohi – The Lord is My Shepherd
“The LORD is my shepherd [Yahweh Rohi]. I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1)
Philip Keller gives us a beautiful description of what the shepherd means to the sheep. He explains, “[David] 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.”
He goes on to talk about the vastness and intricacy of the universe, then continues, “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?”
Sheep cannot take care of themselves. Keller says, “they require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care.” They are especially vulnerable to dangers from weather and predators, and often from their own foolishness. For example, I recently saw a video clip of a sheep being pulled out of a crevasse, only to run a few steps and fall right back in!
In the Old Testament, rulers were frequently referred to as shepherds. In a culture where many subjects were herdsmen of one sort or another, that image would have brought to mind an authority figure who provided for his subjects. “One ancient Sumerian wisdom text offers a particularly good parallel to Psalm 23: ‘A man’s personal god is a shepherd who finds pasturage for him. Let him lead him like sheep to the grass they can eat.’ For the psalmist, there is but one shepherd, his personal God, Yahweh (Genesis 48:15).”
Genesis 48:15 refers to God as “the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.” Indeed, as we move into the New Testament, we see Jesus assume the mantle of the Good Shepherd. In John 10 He declares, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me… and I lay down my life for the sheep” (v. 11, 14).
As the Good Shepherd Jesus did indeed lay down His life for us, becoming the once-for-all-time sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:12), and by that sacrifice “perfect[ing] for all time those who are being sanctified” (v. 14).
When you accept Jesus’ sacrifice for you, when you believe and receive His gift of salvation, you come under His care as your Good Shepherd. All these benefits and blessings found in Psalm 23 are automatically yours—for the rest of your life.
Over the past few months we have been looking at just a few of the names of God that are revealed in the Bible. Tony Evans reminds us, “In Scripture, a name is much more than nomenclature. It represents reputation and character. It reflects the heart of who someone is.” As we come to the end of this series, I want to share something I found in Elmer Towns’ excellent book, The Ultimate Guide to the Names of God. Here he shows how each verse, each phrase, of Psalm 23 reveals an aspect of God’s character. As he explains, “Psalm 23 is structured to show that our needs are matched by the caring response of God,” our Good Shepherd!
- In verse 1 we see Jehovah Rohi, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
- In verse 1 we also encounter Jehovah Jireh, the God who sees our need and provides for us, ensuring that “I shall not want.”
- In verse 2 we see Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace, who “leads us beside the still waters.”
- In verse 3, Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer, “restores my soul.”
- In verse 3, Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness, “leads me in the paths of righteousness.”
- In verse 4, “I will fear no evil,” because of Jehovah Nissi, the Lord my Banner.
- Verse 4 also reminds me that Jehovah Shammah, the LORD who is There, is with me.
- And in verse 5, Jehovah Mekoddishkem, the Lord who Sanctifies, “anoints my head with oil.”
Little wonder that this psalm has become so beloved. As we draw this series to a close, may I ask you to pray and read this psalm once again, remembering the many facets of God’s character and care that are revealed within these words? May you come to love your Shepherd even more as you absorb the depth of His care for you.
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NIV)
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 W. Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Zondervan. Kindle Edition), pp. 3-4.
 Ibid., p. 4.
 Ibid., p. 7.
 Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
 Tony Evans, The Power of God’s Names (Harvest House Publishers, Kindle Edition), p. 123.
 Elmer L. Towns, The Ultimate Guide to the Names of God (Baker Publishing Group, Kindle Edition), p. 27.
NAME OF GOD
Does God have a name? If so, what is the name of God, and in this case, I am referring to God the Father, a God from whom everything came from as stated in 1 CORINTHIANS 8:6. In JOHN 17:11, it states = “And now, I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” = The verse states, “THROUGH THINE OWN NAME”, which means, that God the Father has his own name. God the Father has a name, his Spiritual Son has a name, and the Holy Spirit also has a name. In this tract, I am going to discuss the name of God the Father.
Some people would say that the name of God the Father is YHWH, some would say that it is YAHWEH, and some would say that it is JEHOVAH. During the olden times, or during the time of Moses, the Israelites were calling God the Father as YHWH. As you would notice, this 4-letter word has no vowels, therefore, pronouncing it is quite difficult, but during Moses’s time, this was the way they called God the Father. Incidentally, the correct pronunciation had been lost, and in our days, nobody knows how to pronounce this word. We have to consider, that during those times, there we no tape recorders yet. This personal proper name, written with the consonants YHWH, was considered to sacred to be uttered, so the vowels for the words ‘my Lord’ or ‘God’ were added to the consonants YHWH. The religious leaders during those times, added a vowel ‘a’ in between YH, and added a vowel ‘e’ in between WH. Therefore, the four-letter word YHWH became YAHWEH. And YAHWEH was then considered to be the name of God the Father. Come to think of it, it could also be YEHWOH, or YOHWAH, or YIHWAH, isn’t it? It depends where I will place the vowels. Therefore, if we say, that the name of God the Father is YAHWEH, it is considered to be non-biblical, since YAHWEH was only an inventive word of some religious leaders.
Some religious leaders would say that the name of God the Father is JEHOVAH. How did this name JEHOVAH came about? During the 14th century, or 1400 AD, religious leaders took the word YHWH, and changed the letter Y to J, and changed the letter W to V. It now became JHVH. And in between J and H, they inserted the vowel ‘e’, and in between the letters H and V, they inserted the vowel ‘o’, and in between the letters V and H, they inserted the vowel ‘a’. So, the word JHVH, became JEHOVAH. As you would notice, the word JEHOVAH, only came about during the 14th century. This means, that even the apostles in their time, or even Jesus Christ himself haven’t heard of this word Jehovah. Even the old manuscripts written during 300 AD, 400 AD or 500 AD, like the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Bobienski, Codex Washingtonianus, etc., do not have the words Jehovah, or Yahweh recorded in them. But some proponents would say, that the words Yahweh and Jehovah were included in the bible, especially, the King James Version bible. Yes, I would admit that Yahweh and Jehovah could be found in the King James Version bible, and other bibles which were translated in our modern times. But consider this historical facts: Yahweh and Jehovah were introduced wayback in the 1400 AD, and in 1611, King James of England, had ordered almost 50 bible scholars to arrange the bible, and as you would remember, from 1400 AD to 1611 AD, the words Yahweh and Jehovah were already in existence, that was for almost 211 years. Thereby, when the bible scholars of King James of England arranged the King James Version bible, the words Yahweh and Jehovah were incorporated in this bible version, and many other bible versions after that. So, if we used these words Yahweh and Jehovah in our spiritual teachings, it would be considered as an invalid information, erroneous and non-biblical.
If this is so, what then is the name of God the Father? In the bible, God the Father was called in many names. To prove this, we have to resort to biblical verses to prove my point.
1) In GENESIS 2:19, it states – “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” = During the olden times, Adam and the humans after him were free to give a name to whatever they could see, and whatever name they gave to a certain matter, then that was the name. If Adam called the lion as we called it today, as ‘strong’, then that was the name. In our time, we could say that Adam could not call the lion as the name of ‘strong’, since the word ‘strong’ is an adjective, not a noun. We have to consider that during the olden times, languages were still very primitive, there were no adjectives yet, no verbs, no nouns, no pronouns, no adverbs yet. So, whatever name they called a certain thing, that was the name. This logic also applies to the name of God the Father. The people during the olden times, called God the Father in names, in which in our times, we would say that the name they called God the Father was not a noun, but an adjective. To prove this, follow the next verses please.
2) In ISAIAH 63:16, it states = “Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us; and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.” = There it is, the name of God was Father. It was the prophet Isaiah who gave God this name, Father. Once more, proponents will say that the word Father is a title of a person, not a name. In the olden times, the word ‘Father’ was a name for God, and in the New Testament, you will never find a verse that will disprove this. Just to give an example: Supposing, my father’s name is Miguel. If I want to call my father, will I say, “Miguel, let us go now!’ No!, this is wrong, I don’t call my father Miguel, but I will call my father as ‘father’. I will say, ‘Father, let us go now!’ As my father’s son, I will call my father, as father, isn’t it? The same thing with God the Father. If you want to ask something from God the Father, you don’t say, ‘Jehovah, or Yahweh, please grant my requests,’ but we say, ‘Father, grant my requests’. We are the sons of God, so we call him as Father.
3) In ISAIAH 57:15, it states = “for thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; . . .” = Isaiah even gave God the name of Holy. Again, you will say, the word Holy is an adjective, not a noun. But as what I had said, during those days, languages were still very primitive.
4) In AMOS 9:6, it states = “It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the seas; and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: the LORD is his name.” = The name of God is also LORD.
5) In AMOS 5:27, it states = “Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.” = The name of God is also ‘The God of hosts.’
6) In EXODUS 3: 13-14, it states = “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM that sent me unto you.” = I AM THAT I AM is also the name of God.
7) In EXODUS 34:14, it says = “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God.” = We just have to accept that the name of God is also JEALOUS, because, that is what the bible says.
8) In DEUTERONOMY 28:58, it says = “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD.” = The name of God is also THE LORD THY GOD.
All these names mentioned are the names of God, according to the Bible. Who are we to contradict these verses?
If you say, that the name of God is YAHWEH or JEHOVAH, then you are violating the teachings of Jesus Christ, which states, that it is forbidden for us to add or deduct from what is written in the bible. It is like adding additional verses from the teachings of Christ.
I hoped that these verses will enlighten us regarding the name of God. If you have comments about this, you could contact me.
This is Bro. Ed.
Thank You for writing this article! It is very enlightening. The Lord Jesus called Himself, The Good Shepperd, and from king David we receive the reminder, that He, The Lord Jesus, leads us through The Path of Righteousness,….for His names sake!