Surely goodness and Love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 NIV
David penned Psalm 23. Not only did he have an intimate relationship with God, he was an expert at shepherding. David knew all about sheep, their needs, and his responsibility toward them as shepherd. David also knew God! Who better could give us a picture of Jesus as our good shepherd than David?
As farming and agriculture have declined to a more technological society in these times in which we live, many of us may have great difficulty relating to the 1,140 references in the Bible relating to sheep or lambs.
If we truly understood the characteristic nature of sheep, we would totally understand how we, as humans, could be likened to these creatures in God’s Word.
Did you know that sheep are totally defenseless? Running is their only means to escape an enemy. Their herding instinct causes them to go along with the crowd. They are stubborn, jealous, fearful, timid, and startle easily. They are not discerning and will even eat poisonous plants and drink dirty water, often leading to their demise. The one characteristic I find most interesting is their tendency to cast. If they fall over, they roll onto their back, their legs in the air, and they are totally unable to upright themselves! They will die that way unless the shepherd restores them!
Jesus says in John 10:11 (NIV), “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Jesus also said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:9-10 (NIV)
In Eastern Turkey in 2006, one sheep fell to his death into a fifteen-meter deep ravine. The sad part of the story is that four hundred others followed and met the same demise.
We, unlike sheep, have intellect to choose our shepherd. Will we choose to follow the world’s way and run with the crowd; or will we choose to enter the gate opened to us through Christ?
Think about it:
Jesus not only gives us life eternal when we accept Him as our Lord; but as His sheep, we can dwell in the peace and safety of His goodness and love all the days of our lives. We were created in the image of God who knows our every need and desires to give us the desires of our heart in abundance.
Oh Lord, we are like sheep. We desire our way that is in such contrast to Yours. Give us a thirst for Your Word, a desire for Your love, eyes to see and the will to follow You all the days of our life. Thank You that when we wander or find ourselves upside down, You, in Your goodness, will renew and restore.