Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 20, 2022

“The LORD is my shepherd” – “The LORD is your keeper”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 46:31-34 through Genesis 47:1-6.  I will only quote the verses in chapter 46.  Here is a link to the verses in chapter 47 –

“Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me;  and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock;  and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’  When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen;  for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”  Genesis 46:31-34.


Although the thought of a shepherd was (for some reason) “loathsome to the Egyptians” verse 34, Pharaoh recognized the need for keepers of livestock.  “Shepherds” and  “keepers of livestock” are different titles for doing the same necessary work.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, “…  and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”  Genesis 47:6. 

Today’s Scripture leads us to consider how our LORD is both our Shepherd and our Keeper.  We see both descriptions in the following two Scriptures.  The LORD is described as a shepherd in Psalm chapter 23, and the LORD is described as a keeper in Psalm 121.  In sharp contrast to the Egyptians for whom the thought of a shepherd was (for some reason) “loathsome”, we love and cherish the thought of our LORD being both our Shepherd and our Keeper.   

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4.

“4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.” Psalm 121:4-8.


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