Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jehovah Raah: The LORD is My Shepherd Part 2

Please first read Jehovah Raah: The LORD is My Shepherd Part 1 and then come back for this one...

In John 10:1-16 and 27-30, Jesus states:

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 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. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

I am always amazed when I hear someone say that they don't believe Jesus is God who came to save us from our sins, but they do believe that he was a prophet and a good teacher.  How can this be?  If He claimed He was God and was not, He wouldn't be a good teacher at all and no where near a prophet.  He would be a crazy liar!

No, Jesus is as He said He is.  The LORD is my Shepherd, and I cannot even snatch myself from His hand!  Praise God!  He is the Good Shepherd that each one of us so desperately needs.  It may not seem desperate to some, but it is indeed desperate.  A sheep without a shepherd is in a very dangerous predicament.

"Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:36)

Know anyone who is distressed and dispirited?

1. great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.
2. a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.

discouraged; dejected; disheartened; gloomy.

The Greek word for dispirited sheds even more light:

1. to set down (with the suggestion of haste and want of care)

2. to throw to the ground, prostrate

In Phillip Keller's book, "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23," he mentions times when sheep from neighboring pastures who were not taken care of well would try to break out from their fields in order to get to his pastures where there was nice grass and sheep who were well taken care of.  They were ready to throw themselves before him because they were desperate for care.

There are times in my life where I have forgotten this.

One time in particular was during a mission trip in Indonesia.  Interestingly enough, we (the group of ladies with whom I was traveling) were actually studying this topic of the LORD being our Shepherd, and one of the ladies even made up a little devotional for us about it.  She also bought each one of us a little lamb as a reminder. 

Well we unexpectedly ended up riding in a van, in the rain, in the dark, in the mountains to a destination where we would be staying overnight.  Church was the next morning, and we had a three hour drive that night.  We were scared.  It was scary.  We each had moments of panic, but we all tried to focus on the LORD.  I even thought at one point, "Well this could be how I go, and what a way to do it."  Thankfully I had music to listen to that the Lord used to help me stay calm.

Long story short, after hours of this, and one poor lady even getting car-sick, we made it to a hotel and pleaded with the Indonesian friends we were with to let us stay there.  The next day it would be daylight and not raining.  That would be better!

When we finally pulled up to the church where we would be connecting with other Christian women, what did we see?  A mural similar to this one reminding us of who our Shepherd was.  We had sort of forgotten.

This is not to say that bad things never happen to His sheep.  However, when those valleys do come, He is the one to walk us through them.  He is the one who takes care of us.  He takes amazingly suberb care of us because He loves us more than any other shepherd ever could.  He brings good out of it, and He is glorified. 

He was so faithful to help us keep going.  What a blessing we would have missed!

If you haven't yet trusted in Jesus as your Good Shepherd, your Savior, I pray you will...right away!

For further study on this, there are so many passages in the Bible about sheep.  Here are some books I also highly recommend:
Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg

Thank You, my Faithful Shepherd, for loving me like You do!  I am so undeserving and so thankful!  I love You!

1 comment:

Kristen @ Dem Golden Apples said...

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