Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:23-24; John 10:11-18
“Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him;behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms;he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” – Isaiah 40:10-11
“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd” – Ezekiel 34:23
“The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep…No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” – John 10:13-15, 18
a shepherd: a man who cares for lowly, foolish , and frightened animals. in my one memorable interaction with a sheep herd i especially saw how easily frightened they were. i came by a fairly large herd, one that could have totally overpowered me, but the minute i walked up close to them they all ran away terrified. they would only feel safe with the caretaker they were familiar with…their shepherd. its interesting that in the isaiah passage God says He will come with “might” and then follows that statement with the image of a shepherd…not the profession that comes to mind when i think of strength. in fact, the shepherd that is described is very tender, giving special care for the weakest of the herd. yet, maybe that is “might” in God’s eyes: to love and care for those who are helpless…those who can do nothing to care for you. as i prepare to become a father, i am so impressed by the ones i see holding their little ones…with little to no sleep they faithfully and responsively care for a little thing that just cries, drools, poops, and punches them in the face. then this Good Shepherd not only cares for but defends these sheep. when danger and threat comes that is the test of true strength….that shows who you really care for. i know i immediately try to protect myself…not throw myself into it. and not just throw myself into the onslaught of danger but to do it for a bunch of sheep? indeed Jesus has might i only barely understand.
are we really that different from the sheep? what gives us anxiety…what really scares us? how can we run to the Good Shepherd and let ourselves be carried by Him?
thank you Lord that you are my Mighty Shepherd.