The Shepherd’s Way

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cups runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23

One day as David was watching his sheep, the idea came to him that God was like a shepherd. He thought to himself, of the incessant care that sheep require—their helplessness and their defenselessness. He recalled their foolish straying from the safe pathways and their constant wandering made it obvious of their need for a guide. He thought of the time and patience it took for them to trust him before they would follow. During times when they needed him to lead them out of danger as they huddled close behind their shepherd. How he must think for his sheep, fight for them and be on guard for them against predators. If need be he would bind up any scratch or wound, until they were healed and how quickly they would be prone to wander again and again. Yet, in all of this caregiving, not one of his sheep was aware of how constantly they were watched and loved by their shepherd. Yes, he mused, God is very much like a good shepherd. Ancient shepherds knew their sheep by name. They were acquainted with all of their ways—their peculiarities, their characteristic marks, and their tendencies. Back then shepherds didn’t drive their sheep; they led them. Even if two shepherds were calling their flocks at the same time and the sheep were intermingled, they would never follow the wrong shepherd.

Hundreds of years later, after David had penned this psalm, Jesus said with quiet assurance: ” I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep (John 10:11-15). This is our Lord Jesus, “that Great Shepherd of the sheep”(Hebrews 13:20). He was One with His Father, and saw us as lost sheep without a shepherd. ” He came to seek and to save that which was lost.”(Luke 19:10) He is the One who left the ” ninety-nine on the hills”and went “to look for the one that wandered off,”forever establishing the value of just one person and the Father’s desire that not one of them should perish (Matthew 18:12-14). The Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. With a shepherd’s heart, He demonstrated an unforeseen love that was willing to even lay down His life for their security. His own lifeblood for the ransom price. He never takes His eye off His sheep, ever faithful to always be on guard against the wolf. The term “good”has the idea of “noble”and stands in stark contrast to the “hireling”who cares only for self-interest. The “hireling” represents the religious leaders of Jesus day who perform their duty in convienent times, but never during times of adversity. Where in contrst to Jesus, who laid down His own life for His flock. Since the beginning of Old Testament laws, religious leaders have decreed that a lamb should give up its life for their own. The high priest would bring his lamb to the sanctuary, lean with all his weight on the lamb’s head, and confess his sin. The lamb would then be slain and its blood would flow out—a life for a life.

Now the Shepherd gives up His life for His lamb. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisment for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all(Isaiah 53:5-6). The stripe that caused His death has brought salvation to those for whose sins He died for. The Servant Shepherd died not for His own sin, since He was sinless (Hebrews 4:15), but as the substitute for sinners. He died for all sin, not just the gross sins of murder, adultery, and theft. But also for the secret sins of selfishness and pride.

Beloved friend, In John 10:7-9,  Jesus tells His disciples that not only is He the “Good Shepherd,”He also is the “gate.”As the gate, He is the only way in and out. As the good shepherd He confronts danger to protect His sheep. He waits until we know that nothing else matters in this life, nothing will ease the pain that comes from the absence of His peace. Nothing will make life worth living except His presence, His forgiveness, His righteousness which in turn makes us in right standing with the Father. And best of all, when we realize this about ourselves and turn to Him, He is there to greet us, and except us as His own. Praise God ! For His glorious grace and goodness that the Good Shepherd gives to His sheep!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!





Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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