It’s important to understand the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep in order to understand your relationship with God.
Three of the greatest men of God in the Bible, Abraham, Moses, and David, were shepherds. There must have been something important that God wanted these men to learn from their role as a shepherd before He used them for a great purpose.
How would being a shepherd teach them about their relationship with God? What kinds of things would a shepherd learn?
- First of all, he would learn that sheep don’t make good decisions on their own. He would see how important it was for the sheep to follow the shepherd.
2. He would learn that it was important to look out for each individual sheep as well as looking out for the whole flock.
3. Whenever there was danger, he would have to take action. Therefore he would learn to be fearless and brave. David killed the lion and the bear in defense of his sheep before he slayed the giant.
“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear;” 1 Samuel 17:36
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; ” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
4. He would have to learn patience. Sheep are not very smart.
5. He would see, first hand, how vitally important it is for sheep to follow the shepherd. He would witness the dangers sheep would get into without the care of the shepherd. Without a shepherd, the sheep blindly follow other sheep. When one walks over a cliff, the others follow right behind him!
6. But most importantly, He would have ample time to spend with God, to pray, and seek God’s help. He would learn to walk with God.
The shepherd provides food and clean water daily, rest, protection from the enemy, and guidance. Without the shepherd’s care the sheep would go astray. It’s no accident that God says He is the Good Shepherd and we are like sheep.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28 NIV
This is what King David learned about God through his time as a shepherd. May we learn this as well.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 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. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 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
We don’t have to be a shepherd to learn these important truths. We have the Word of God.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
With Love, Cindy
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