A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W.Phillip Keller: Book Review

Sep 4, 2010 | Books & Tales, Every Other Book, Karen Lewis, Ministry Musings

by Karen Lewis

The author, W. Phillip Keller, who was born in East Africa, had a passion for wildlife and the great outdoors. He spent many years in agricultural research and land management. The experience he gained as a shepherd equipped him with inspirational insights to write this book. Though the author passed away in 1997, the book is still fresh today.

Keller takes a closer look into the many characteristics of sheep, and the role of a shepherd. Often people from the city are not familiar with land, wildlife, crops, livestock etc. They sometimes miss out on certain truths the Bible teaches because they are not familiar with the things like sheep, wheat, soil, and grapes at much depth. This book gives you a better understanding of these areas.

He takes on a deeper approach when looking at the classic Psalm 23. It is very much a book I would suggest you take your time reading to absorb the meaning. As you read, you begin to see how the characteristics of sheep can be very similar to human behavior, something I never thought much about before reading the book. Christ is our good shepherd and the book describes how the characteristics of Christ are the same as those of a good shepherd.

I like the fact Keller uses profound biblical references which I found to be encouraging because this helps to show the truth in the insights. He describes the points in such a way that you can capture the true meaning easily and he uses tremendous inspirational insights that anyone familiar with life in the church can quickly identify with.

Sometimes life can teach us tough lessons but the deeper truth is that afterward it produces a life of rest and tranquility free from worry and frustration of being cast down like a helpless sheep. But what God does expose us to will certainly strengthen our faith and confidence in His control if we trust in Him.

If He is the good shepherd we can be assured that He knows what He is doing. Christ refreshes and restores the soul. He will never expect us to face more than we can handle.

This is definitely a book worth reading.

Karen Lewis is a contributor to our Ministry Musings section, currently serving as a missionary in México with her husband and fellow contributor, Rev. Christopher Lewis. Learn more of their ministry at her blog, Beyond The Horizon.


  1. I read this book and found it too be a fabulous demonstration of 23 Psalm. Keller’s knowledge was immensely helpful in opening up windows of wisdom. Loved. it.

  2. Amazing!I highly recommend this book to all my friends. The knowledge and wisdom of this author is incredible.

  3. Thanks for the review Karen, I found this to be really helpful. Psalm 23 is an iconic Bible verse that many of us are ‘forced’ to memorize in Bible school however this book gives a deep indepth look into this scripture. I look forward to reading it and getting some insight!


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