It is a great comfort to know God as our shepherd. Being a shepherd, is one of the roles our God takes–that show us all the ways he impacts our daily lives. The shepherd leads and guides the sheep to places where there is good and adequate food and water. The shepherd protects and keeps watch over the sheep both as a flock and as individuals. When a sheep wanders off, the shepherd leaves the flock to find the one–Luke 15:1-10. The Sheep welcome the shepherds leadership and protection, in fact; the sheep know the shepherd’s voice. And through the day, as they do their sheep lives, they rarely notice him in their midst–but, when things go wrong or when they are attacked–they can count upon the shepherd’s love, sacrifice and guidance.
God’s great leaders were shepherds. Jacob and his sons were the Pharaoh’s Shepherds, Moses was a shepherd in Midian for 40 years to prepare him to lead Israel. David was a shepherd when Samuel anointed him as King. Christ’s birth was announced by angels to the shepherds as they watched their flocks by night! The shepherd epitomizes the role of great leader, simply because he is tireless does difficult, dangerous work and receives no praise or accolade from those he protects. Shepherds cannot check out at the end of the work day…in fact, shepherds often slept in front of the pen-entrance and acted as the gate to protect and keep the sheep where they were supposed to be.
We are the sheep. As we trust and follow God, he leads, guides and directs us to the places where we can be fed and be safe. When we stray from him, he reaches out and guides us back. He is always present, vigilant, and at the ready to lay down everything for us–his chosen sheep. We are simply called to follow. We listen for his voice and stay under his watchful sight. We do not grow confused and chase every voice that calls us–no, we only listen for and follow the voice of the shepherd–our Shepherd, Jehovah Raah.
God Bless You
Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed[l] limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me
Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved