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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Good Shepherd

I am reading and recommend an interesting book titled - A SHEPHERD LOOKS AT PSALM 23. The author, W. Phillip Keller disects Psalm 23 verse by verse. It gives a shepherds perspective of this popular Psalm of David. Christ Jesus Himself has declared that He is the Good Shepherd of His sheep; of which we are.



Mr. Keller speaks of one sheep of his fold that always looked through his retaining fence, desiring to go into the neighboring pasture. The farm adjacent to his was run by a person who cared less for his flock. The pasture was always in disrepair, grasses were not planted properly or irrigated for the dry spells, his sheep were diseased and infested with various microbes and sores; yet some of Mr. Keller's sheep desired to leave his tender green pastures to go into the inferiour one.



One sheep in particular that he favored because of her beauty and stature would even wait for low tide so she could bolt into the neighboring pasture. Other sheep would then follow her. It was causing severe problems. It got to the point that Mr Keller had to slay the rebellious sheep because it she was leading others to rebellion. It broke his heart, but it had to be done for the safety and well being of his flock.


I am amazed at the work required to shepherd of a flock. Pasture has to be maintained, irrigated and sown. Clean water sources need to be found and monitored. There are many sleepless nights when preditors are on the prowl. Mr Keller says that on one evening alone two wild dogs killed over 100 sheep.


The herd mentality is amazing. If one sheep is spooked and runs, the entire herd flees in terror. When one or two wonder off not knowing where they were going, they have to be sought after and returned to the safety of the shepherd. During nights of terror for the sheep, the apprearance of the shepherd has an immediate calming effect on the entire herd. With gun or staff in hand, with his faithful collie beside him, late into the night the sheep would sleep and graze in the green pastures the shepherd had planted, maintained and carefully watched over.


Christ, our Good Shepherd causes us to lay down in His green pastures. He causes us to; at times we do not do so willingly! Mr. Keller speaks of the early morning dew that coats the tender grasses having enough moisture to sustain the sheep. King David, also a shepherd mentions dew tenderly falling from the heavens that sustains us. The dew of the Holy Spirit, the tender Comforter of the sheep falls from the heavens on a daily basis. He never slumbers or sleeps; He is always awake and watchful over the flock.


In is interesting that even Jacob, the son of Abraham and Isaac is mentioned several times in the Bible as being a shepherd of a flock. This is recorded in Genesis and even mentioned in the Book of Hosea, chapter 12:12 ~


" And Jacob fled into the country of Syria and served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep...."


Likewise, Christ, the Good Shepherd left heaven and came to planet earth to serve for a wife; His Bride. He led, prayed, bled and died on behalf of the flock the Father gave Him.


I recommend this book, A SHEPHERD LOOKS AT PSALM 23. The requirements about the requirements of being a good shepherd gives new understanding of what the Bible speaks of in the context of Christ, our Good Shepherd.



We must remember and remain aware constantly, that we daily have stray sheep watching our actions. They need a good shepherd to lead them to greener pastures; the pastures of God. Some will follow us. Let us be the obedient to our Great Shepherd. There are many enemies waiting to pounce on us at the first opportunity. The devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking what he may devour. This is his nature. But - There is great safety as we listen, watch, obey and follow our Shepherd.



SAVIOUR, LIKE A SHEPHERD LEAD US *


Saviour, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tendere care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use thy folds prepare:


Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.


We are Thine; do Thou befriend us,
Be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray;


Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Hear Thy children when they pray;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Hear Thy children when they pray.


Thou hast promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful thought we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse, and power to free:


Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee.


Early let us seek Thy favor,
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed LORD and only Saviour,
With Thy love our bosoms fill;


Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

* Dorthy A. Thrupp 1779-1847 William B. Bradbury 1816-1868



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