May 18, 2014
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Sermon Series on “The Names of God”
Sermon 19 of series-
“The Sacred Names of God: Yahweh Roi/Yahweh Shammah”
23rd Psalm King James Bible
Names of God Bible (with direct verse lookup), The Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Let us pray… (Pray for God to illuminate His word and that we would have the open eyes, hearts and minds to conceive and receive it)
Have you ever had times in your faith journey that you may have wondered “where is God”? You are looking for guidance and hope and God seems to be silent. How about times in your faith journey where you seem to have missed the mark…you felt that you took a wrong turn somewhere and now are feeling lost and alone? You try as you might to find the path again but you seem to not quite get on the road you feel you should be on. You feel you need someone or something to guide you back to where you should be. You might even wonder to yourself, “OK I thought I was on the right road where God wanted me to be but I have ended up at a dead end. How can I find my way back? I really want to be in the presence of God again. I don’t like it out here on my own. I need help…”
As we continue our journey of learning about and praying in the Sacred Names of God, we have come to a name that we have talked about before. As a matter of fact we spent time in the fall talking about this Sacred Name. It is a name that gives us hope and comfort. It is a name that lets us know how loved and cared for we are. We may not have used this particular name in the fall but it is one of God’s names none the less. We talked about the 23rd Psalm and about the Good Shepherd. But God is not only known by the Good Shepherd. He is also known by the names Yaweh Roi and Yahweh Shammah…the Lord is my Shepherd and The Lord is there.
The Names of God Bible tells us that:
“For at least part of their history, the Hebrews were a nomadic people who wandered from place to place seeking pasture for their herds of sheep, goats, and cattle. To sustain their livelihood, it was vital for shepherds to keep their animals from straying, protect them from thieves and wild animals, and provide them with plentiful pastures. Shepherding was one of the earliest human occupations. A family’s wealth was measured by how many sheep, goats, cows, horses, camels, and/or asses a man owned. Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David were all shepherds.” In the ancient Near East and in Israel itself, “shepherd” eventually became a metaphor for kings. Though Israel’s religious leaders were also referred to as shepherds, they were often chided for their failure to watch over the flock of God. The Hebrew Scriptures speak of God as the Shepherd of his people and apply this image to religious leaders as well. Both then and now Yahweh Roi (yah-WEH roe-EE) is the one true Shepherd of his people. The New Testament presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who protects the lives of his sheep at the cost of his own life.”
Now the 23rd Psalm, that I read this morning, talks about Yahweh Roi and what He does for the sheep of His sheep fold. But let’s look at the Psalm in detail again and see if we might find a new vision of our Shepherd. Because Jesus is my/our Shepherd…:
- I shall not want:
- Rest-He maketh me lie down in green pastures
- Peace- He leadeth me beside still waters
- Forgiveness-He restoreth my soul
- Guidance-He leadeth my in the paths of righteous for His namesake
- I will fear no evil:
- Companionship-Thou art with me
- Comfort-Thy rod and thy staff the comfort me
- Concern-Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over
- I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever:
- Now-Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
- Future-And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
Yahweh Roi is a Shepherd who will never leave us or forsake us. Yahweh Roi wants all of his children…all of His sheep to be in His sheepfold. Yahweh Roi is not an earthly shepherd who may or may not protect the sheep of their pasture. Remember…we are human and there may be times when that earthly shepherd may be too fearful to protect their sheep…they may be too busy to make sure that they are well and cared for. But Yahweh Roi is always on the job. There is nothing that can frighten Him away for His sheep. There is nothing or no one more important to Him than the sheep of His pasture.
Are you in need of guidance and direction? Is there a terrain in your faith walk that seems to be rock and hard to traverse? Is there someone in your life that needs to be lead to Yahweh Roi so that they too can have those restful, green pastures with clear, cool water? Has life somehow gotten you off the right track into a rut of chaos?
Listen…do you hear Him calling from the depths of your soul? Yahweh Roi is calling you to the comfort of His arms. Yahweh Roi is calling you to rest by the still waters to find rest for your soul. Yahweh Roi wants you to receive forgiveness and restoration. Yahweh Roi wants to guide you on His path as you reach out to others. Yahweh Roi wants to walk through your faith journey with you as you are comforted by His presence. Yahweh Roi is concerned for your well being. Yahweh Roi wants to feel his presence both now and for eternity. Yahweh Roi wants you to know that He is Yahweh Shammah…always with you. Come…rest…drink in the cool waters of his presence. Come and brings others with you to the waters of restoration and forgiveness only found in the presence of Yahweh Roi…the Shepherd of our souls.
Let us pray… (Pray to Yahweh Roi/Yahweh Shammah)