~* THE KING OF LOVE MY SHEPHERD IS *~
Henry W. Baker, 1821-1877

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand....
Psalm 95:7

The beloved words of Psalm 23 have undoubtedly provided greater comfort and encouragement to God's people through the years than any other portion of Scripture. In times of deep need, how eloquently these tender words from the psalmist David minister to our wounded spirits. This psalm has also formed the textual basis for more sacred music than any other scriptural setting. But to many Christians the best-loved hymn based on Psalm 23 is this paraphrase by an English musician, Sir Henry Baker. In this text Baker skillfully combines thought of King David with lessons from the New Testament. For example, the words from the third stanza are based on the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:5. The fourth stanza includes the phrase "Thy cross before to guide me." Here the Shepherd is identified as Christ by the inclusion of the cross symbolism.

Sir Henry William Baker is highly regarded by students of hymnody for his work as the editor-in-chief of one of the most monumental hymnals ever published, Hymns, Ancient and Modern, a book which sold more than 60 million copies after it was published in 1861. See how these words can direct you again to the love of the Good Shepherd.



The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed;
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In deathís dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadíst a table in my sight;
From Thy hand grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy House forever.



*For Today*: Psalm 23, John 10:9, Hebrews 2:14 & 15, I Peter 2:25

Take time to read and meditate again on the 23rd Psalm. Reflect on the tender love and care that an earthly shepherd has for his sheep. Relate this to your heavenly Shepherd's guidance and care for your life.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Be sure to take time to read Jennifer's Testimony which is in keeping with the theme of today's hymn devotional!

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