Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 180
Context: The relationship between God and the individual is described metaphorically as that of the sheep and its shepherd. The poet says that since his shepherd is the Lord, his needs will be met. God guides him to lush grazing grounds and to quiet streams, so that he has peace and contentment. The Lord leads him in the right paths to uphold His name, or His reputation as a shepherd. Even though the path leads through a dark, perilous valley, where there may be thieves or dangerous beasts, the sheep, or the believer, is not afraid because his shepherd is ready to protect him with His rod and staff:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of rigtheousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.