Hymn book open to The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of Love My Shepherd Is Discussion

     Are you ready to learn more about our Monthly Melody, The King of Love My Shepherd Is?  I will be learning right along with you as I research this post.  If you missed our first post, you might want to catch up and then jump back in!

     The author of, The King of Love My Shepherd Is, was Sir Henry Williams Baker.  He was a pastor in the church of England in the 1800s.  He wrote other hymns, but this one seems to have been special to him.  It is said that his last understood words on his deathbed were the third verse of this song.

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

     Alright, now we are going to look at our hymn verse by verse now.  

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

     On the very first day of February, this first verse was an encouragement to me.  When something discouraging happened, it was so good to be reminded that I lack nothing because I have Jesus.  We can find our fulfillment in Jesus rather than our ever-changing circumstances.  And we have the promise that God will supply all of our needs. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  

Psalm 23:1

     Let’s back up a bit and look at the first line: The King of love my Shepherd is.  Jesus, our Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep, truly is the King of love. 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 

Sheep lying on hymn book open to The King of Love My Shepherd Is

     Jesus said that there is no greater love that a man can have than laying down your life for your friends, and yet He went far above and beyond this.  The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  This is the highest, purest love that has ever been shown.

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

     This verse is plainly taken from Psalm 23:2.  I think it points not only to the fact that God provides our physical needs, such as food, but it is also speaking of our spiritual needs.  Jesus leads us to His Word where we can receive the spiritual food that we need to give us the strength to walk with the Lord each day.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23:2

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

     This verse of the song sounds like the parable of the lost sheep.  In that parable, the shepherd left the 99 sheep in the fold just to go and look for the one sheep that was lost.  Rather than being content with all of the sheep that were safely tucked in the fold, He had a heart of love for the lost sheep and wanted to bring it into the fold.  

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:11

     Jesus is our Good Shepherd.  He sought us when we were sinners and brought us into His fold.  Now, He continues to guide us and bring us back when we fail and follow our own way instead of His perfect one.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:3

In death’s 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.

     Peace is a precious gift from the Lord.  Nothing can compare to the peace of God and knowing that we are His children.  It is through the saving blood of Jesus that we can have our sins forgiven and know that He will take us to Heaven when we die.  And this wonderful news is freely available to all of us!

Hand holding metal heart overhymn book open to The King of Love My Shepherd Is

     I love the word picture of Jesus’ cross ever before us, guiding us home.  And Jesus, our Good Shepherd uses His rod and staff to correct us when we go astray and protect us from all harm.

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.

Psalm 23:4

Thou spreadst a table in my sight; 
Thy unction grace bestoweth; 
And oh, what transport of delight 
From thy pure chalice floweth!

     I think this verse goes right along with verse two.  We are invited to Jesus’ table where we can feast on the truths of His Word.  There is always something fresh waiting for us there each day.  Just as we need food each day to give us the strength to live, so we need the food of God’s Word and time in prayer to give us the strength to live the Christian life.  

     How many times are we guilty of skipping lightly over our time with the Lord so that we can get on to the “more important things we need to do.”  I’m guilty of this, and I think it’s a temptation for all of us.  Let’s learn to view our time with the Lord as what it actually is: the most important part of our day.  

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalm 23:5

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

     What a triumphant ending to this hymn!  God’s goodness never fails.  He is always the same, and we can trust Him to take care of us today and every day.  

Purple flowers lying on hymn book open to The King of Love My Shepherd Is

     Not only do we have the hope of God’s goodness here on earth, but we also have the assurance of spending eternity in Heaven with Him!  There, we will have the privilege of singing the praises of our wonderful King of Love.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23:6

     Listening to this hymn this month has been a blessing to me and my family.  Since I listen to this hymn almost every day, I end up singing snatches of it from time to time.  And just now while I was writing this post, my dad started whistling it!  It’s wonderful learning new hymns to sing and meditate on.

     Here is the video if you would like to watch it again and continue learning this beautiful hymn.

(Disclaimer: While I enjoyed the video of this particular hymn and wanted to share it with you, this does not mean that I endorse every video on this channel.)

Let’s chat!

What most stood out to you in this song?  Was there any special way that the song encouraged you this month?

     Thank you for joining me on this challenge this month!  It’s a wonderful thought that we can sing God’s praises together even now, and one day we will all be able to “sing His praise within His house forever!”

In Christ,

Bethany

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6 Comments

  1. My favorite verse from the song was “In death’s 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.”

    It’s such a good reminder to me that even in the darkest of times, the Lord will always be there to comfort you and guide you through each trial!

    Loved this post, Bethany!!! It was such a good encouragement to me today! 💖🤗

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Anna! It is encouraging to me to hear that the post encouraged you!! I’m thankful for the hymns people have written that we can still benefit from today, and how they can point us to the Lord and meet our needs right where we are. Have a blessed day! 🙂

      “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19

  2. Rachel says:

    The verse that stood out most would be:
    In death’s 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.

    It’s so comforting to know the Lord God guides us every step of the way and He will lead us through death to our eternal life and dwelling place with Him!

    1. That was probably my favorite verse too, Rachel!! I love that picture of Jesus’ cross ever before us, showing us the way. And what a hope for the future we have!! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your favorite verse!

  3. I think the first verse is my favorite! “I nothing lack if I am His, and He is mine forever.” What a wonderful thing it is to know that Jesus is mine forever! I enjoyed learning more about the story of this hymn. Thank you for encouraging us to learn new hymns, Bethany!

    1. Thank you for joining me in the challenge, Hannah. I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much without you! 🙂 Yes, the part about how I lack nothing if I have Jesus also really blessed and encouraged me too.

      “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

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