“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need!” Psalm 23:1
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young!” Isaiah 40:11
The shepherd is a favorite Scriptural picture of the divine love and care. In the Old Testament, Psalm 23 gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines which are dear to young and old wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him and what He would be to them, He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
The shepherd lives with his sheep.
If they are out in the storm–he is with them. If they are exposed to danger–so is he. Just so, Christ lives with His redeemed people. He enters into closest relations with them.
The shepherd knows his sheep.
He has a name for each one and calls them all by their names. Just so, Christ knows each one of His friends and has intimate personal knowledge of each one. He knows the best in us–and also the worst. He knows our faults, our sins, our wanderings. Yet, knowing us as we are–He loves us still and never wearies of us!
The shepherd cares for his sheep.
He does not drive them–but rather goes before them and leads them. When they need rest on the way, he makes them lie down and chooses green pastures for their resting-place, not the dusty road. He is especially kind to the lambs, carrying them in His arms, holding them close to His heart. All this is an exquisite picture of the gentleness of our Good Shepherd in His care of His sheep. Whatever the need is, there is something in the heart of Christ which meets its craving and supplies its lack!
The shepherd defends his sheep in all danger.
Often he had to risk his own safety, even his life, in protecting his sheep. Just so, the Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep! Christ’s sheep are absolutely safe in His keeping. “I give unto them eternal life,” He said; “and they will never perish–ever! No one can snatch them out of My hand!”
The shepherd delivers his sheep.
Then at last, He will bring His own all safely home, “and they shall become one flock, with one Shepherd” (John 10:16).
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith...
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