David describes the LORD as his tender, the one who looks after him. The LORD guides him so that he goes down the right paths. The LORD makes sure he gets to the green pastures where he can feed without fear. The LORD’s staff is there to rescue him from when he strays, as he is prone to do. The LORD’s rod is there to protect him from the beasts of prey, or to discipline him for his own good. Guidance, provision, discipline and protection: these are the tasks of a leader. We learn how to shepherd from the shepherd king. He learned from the Good Shepherd.
LORD, teach us to trust your leadership, and to lead in such a way that our followers are confident of their safety and future.