To the Shepherd

(c) 1998 Encounter Music


This is the first portion of one of my better song-creations.  If I had to choose my favorite, and/or the one I would put out there (wherever “there” is) as my best, this one would probably be it.  This was penned during what seemed to be an interminably long period of gray-black overcast in life, but have returned to it many times — including some significant turning points.  This song still serves to remind me of the Great Shepherd, and I thought of it today, not at all arbitrarily.

About the title:  Yahweh-Rophe is said to be one of the “names of God.”  (Actually, the Father has but one name, and this is one of the many descriptors of something about Him.)  “Rophe” is a transliterated spelling of a Hebrew word that connotes God’s healing — spiritual, emotional, and physical.  The noun is most notably found in Exodus 15:22-26, and the related verb is found in several other places.  I titled the song “Yahweh-Rophe” because of a desire to see the the Great Shepherd as a caring healer.  This song, then, is the expression of a current, would-be psalmist, reaching and being reached to.

All the words are below.  Don’t look for sound biblicism here.  Don’t look for well-developed theology.  Look only for echoes of the ancient Psalmist’s (Ps 23) thoughts.

B. Casey, 3/20/15

Yahweh-Rophe (Psalm 23)

In the stillness of the waters
Comes the voice of Yahweh, my watchful guide:
“Peace, dear creature! Be renewed now
In my gentle, rolling countryside.”

Now You let me breathe Your Spirit,
Sending me, revived, away.
In Your beauty — lush green meadows —
I’m secure for one more day.

Yahweh-Rophe, lead me kindly.
Never turn!  Relentless be!
Your sustaining love refreshes.
There’s a place of comfort in Your house for me.

© 1998 Encounter Music



3 thoughts on “To the Shepherd

  1. John Eoff 03/22/2015 / 10:15 am

    I like it! What tune does it follow? Similar to any other song?


  2. John Eoff 03/22/2015 / 10:16 am

    Sorry, I didn’t even see the form above.


    • Brian Casey 03/22/2015 / 2:32 pm

      Glad you like! The melody, harmony, and rhythm of the verse (part of which is shown in the image here) are all very original. The chorus could be said to be more “derived.” Its musical “grammar” links it to Irish folk melodies, but it is also original.


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