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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Yahweh Roi-The Lord Is My Shepherd: Biblical Meaning And Praying The Names Of God.

Yahweh Roi is the Hebrew name for God meaning the Lord is my Shepherd. This wonderful name and assurance of God from Psalm 23:1 appears only once in the Old Testament. However, there are numerous scriptures throughout the Old Testament that keep pointing us to the Good Shepherd, the promised Messiah Jesus Christ, who would eventually give His life for His sheep and offer redemption through His blood that was poured out for us on the cross, so that we can obtain salvation, peace, eternal life and restore the relationship with God and gaining access to His presence all the time.

Yahweh Roi-The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd;

I have all that I need.

2 He lets me rest in green meadows;

he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3 He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

bringing honor to his name.

4 Even when I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4.

Pronouncing The Name: yah-WEH row-EE.

This is Day 14 of a 30 Day study on The Names Of God. If you haven't read the introduction yet, please start HERE

Understanding the Name Of God, Yahweh Roi-The Lord Is My Shepherd:

Shepherding was a common and important practice back in the times of the Old Testament. Shepherds traveled from place to place, living in tents while seeking pasture for their flocks of sheep. The shepherds had to find new places for their flocks to eat and drink and places that would protect them from storms and from heat.

Did you know that sheep had to eat the right kinds of grass at the right times, or they would die?

If sheep ate too little one day and too much the next day, some of the bacteria that lived in the stomach of the sheep created toxins, causing sudden death. So the shepherd had to carefully plan the path and ensure the sheep had the right amount of grass and water. It was vital to keep the sheep from straying and they needed protection from thieves and wild animals. So sheep and the shepherd lived together constantly.

Take note of this fact (it will make it all that much sweeter in a few minutes when we think about God as our shepherd!) the sheep and their shepherd spent so much time intimately bound together that individual sheep, even when mixed with other flocks, could recognize the voice of their shepherd and immediately came when called by name.

Here is another exciting fact about the sheep and their shepherd (again, take note, you need to remember this when we discuss God as our shepherd!), a shepherd marked the sheep he owned. Shepherds would mark their sheep by making a notch on the ears of their own sheep. Each shepherd had his own unique, distinctive notch that indicated identity and ownership.

We also find more wonderful imagery in this last fact about the activity of the shepherds. Several flocks of sheep would gather together at the end of the day so that the shepherds could take turns sharing the watches of the night, protecting the sheep from wild animals and thieves. At night, sheep were kept in simple enclosures, in caves, or within walls made from bushes. And the shepherd would guard the entrances, often putting his own life in danger for the protection of the flock entrusted to his care.

Now for a bit of role play, you are the sheep and God is the shepherd. Now go back and read the last few paragraphs. Do you feel safe and cared for?

God knows where the green pastures are! He knows what you need and how to navigate you on the dangerous path to get you to it. You can trust the Lord to lead us and guide you through rough terrain – be it physical or spiritual. Yahweh Roi can see around the corner. He knows what is ahead. This rough terrain in life can be very uncomfortable but with Yahweh Roi beside you, you can rest in Him and have your soul restored.

If you are enjoying our Hebrew Names of God study, you may love our printable version which contains all 30 Names of God blog posts. It is perfect for studying with friends or church. Read more about this study HERE.


Printable Names of God Bible study

Do you know Yahweh Roi as your shepherd?

Do you know God as Yahweh Roi, your shepherd? Do you hear His voice calling you? Would you recognize it? When you make a decision to surrender your life to God and spend time praying and listening for His quiet whispers across your heart, you will begin to recognize His voice. Listen to it carefully as God navigates you through the rough terrain of life. I have heard Him tell me to slow down when I'm driving (I wasn't speeding!) and around the bend, a car came on the wrong side of the road. My Shepherd protected me!

God is your shepherd, your Yahweh Roi. Just as the shepherd marks his sheep to claim ownership of them, so does God mark you. He marks us with the presence and power of His Holy Spirit. When you walk closely with the Lord, He leaves His imprint on you. You will never be the same! You will not be content until you have the mind of Christ. You will be renewed, and over time the fruit of the Holy Spirit, such as peace, love, joy will become evident in your life.

When you know God as Yahweh Roi, your shepherd, He will guard you and keep you during troubling times. Being in a relationship with God does not keep us from experiencing life; the good, the bad, the sorrowful. But our Shepherd, Yahweh Roi, leads us through it all. We are able to stand and get through because He never leaves our side.

Yahweh Roi in Hebrew:

Yahweh Roi is Hebrew for the Lord is my shepherd. This name for God first appears directly and personally in Psalm 23. The name Yahweh Roi reveals God's desired relationship with us.

The Hebrew word "rohi" (or "ro'i" or "ro'eh") is both a noun and a verb, meaning "a shepherd" and "a pasture", as well as "to shepherd" or "to pasture". An extended translation of the word as a noun is also "friend" or "companion". This indicates the intimacy Yahweh desires between Himself and His people. He doesn't want mentally- and emotionally-detached children (or sheep!) simply going through repetitious religious exercises. He wants a close personal involvement in every aspect of our lives, one in which we would come to depend on Him for our every need.

In Israel, the word "shepherd" became a metaphor for kings. The Hebrew scriptures speak of God as the Shepherd of His people and this was also applied to religious leaders too. However, Israel's leaders were often chided for their failure to watch over the flock of God.

The New Testament presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd by laying down His own life for His sheep.

John 10:11

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

Applying the name of God, Yahweh Roi to your life:

How does knowing God as Yahweh Roi-The Lord Is My Shepherd affect your life?

I have prepared a free printable for you to use as you explore the names of God. You will find it in our Resource Library Here.

This page has prompts for you to use as you prayerfully meditate on the names of God.

So who is Yahweh Roi to you?

How does knowing God as Yahweh Roi impact your life?

How can you grow in your Christian walk by understanding God as Yahweh Roi?

Praying the Name Of God, Yahweh Roi:

When you pray the word of God, you are praying His words of truth into your situation. It is the same when you pray the names of God. When you understand the meaning of the specific name of God and pray it over your situation-it is declaring His power over it. It certainly will build your faith and expectation of God to move in it. When you pray God's name, you are declaring the truth of who God is and you are proclaiming His power at work in your life. And when you pray to Yahweh Roi, you are praying to the One who watches over you day and night, feeding you and guiding you on the path of righteousness.

Let's Pray:

Yahweh Roi, You are my Shepherd. Thank you for Jesus laying down His life for me. Help me to surrender every area of my life to You and to trust You with it. You are my waymaker and a promise keeper. You know what lies ahead and You help me navigate through it. Help me to surrender all my fears to You and to embrace Your sweet peace. You restore my soul. Amen.

I have written another blog post about how to pray Psalm 23 for an anxious heart. There is also a printable of the prayer. You can read it HERE.

Make sure you check out the wonderful encouraging products that are in our shop based on Psalm 23. You can find them HERE.

Come back tomorrow as we unpack the name, El Elyon-God Most High HERE. It's all about His grace xx Karen.



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