from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Read Psalm 100
Considering a shepherd’s responsibilities, it’s no wonder God calls Himself our Shepherd. What a beautiful picture of Him! He constantly cares for our every need. He takes personal responsibility for every aspect of our safety and well-being. It’s humble and thankless work, but He does it eagerly, carefully, thoroughly. He is both strong and gentle, rugged and patient.
Kings and other leaders were to serve as good shepherds of God’s people. Shepherding was the standard against which God measured them.
Israel had a long tradition of shepherds. The father of the Jewish people, Abraham, had flocks, as did his son, Isaac. Isaac’s son, Jacob, worked as a shepherd from his earliest days. Jacob’s sons, the patriarchs of the tribes of Israel, were shepherds as well.
Moses spent forty years shepherding the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, through a vast wilderness. This was God’s preparation for him to lead his people, Israel, for forty years through the same wilderness.
God’s preparation for David, the greatest king of Israel, was shepherding as well. More on him to come.
When God’s only-begotten Son arrived among us after centuries of promises, who were the only ones who got a special invitation?
Shepherds living out in the fields…keeping watch over their flocks at night. (Luke 2:8, NIV)
There’s another major reason that God considers Himself our shepherd and calls His leaders to be good shepherds. We, God’s people, are so much like sheep. We are utterly dependent on Him for existence, for provision, for welfare and survival. We are constantly, deeply needy. We live our entire existence in the presence and care of the Good Shepherd. We are prone to wander away from our Shepherd’s protection. And when we do, we are easy prey. We are defenseless.
God is your shepherd. Stay close to Him.