A journey of a lifetime
King David was a shepherd so he knew all about sheep management. He knew how helpless sheep were if not cared for. They really were not able to care for themselves. Their coats matted easily, they got mites and maggots and hoof damp rot. So if the shepherd was not a very caring one, then the flock would suffer and perish. Prone to sickness and predators they were helpless without the good shepherd’s care.
David saw himself as a sheep under God’s care, and though we are more able to care for ourselves than sheep are, nevertheless the human race is prone to the sickness of sin and the predatory attacks of the devil! David had a heart relationship with Yahweh and so he easily joined the dots as a shepherd and realized that the Lord was a Shepherd to David too. He was a Good Guide and Merciful Manager. Perfect Protector and Compassionate Carer.
Phillip Keller is not only a great writer, but also a shepherd. He has written some great books one of which is ‘A Shepherd looks at Psalm 23’ I’ll quote him at times! Here’s the first.
“I am completely satisfied with His management of my life. Why? Because He is the sheep man to whom no trouble is too great as He cares for His flock. He is the Rancher who is outstanding because of His fondness for sheep — who loves them for their own sake as well as His personal pleasure in them. He will, if necessary, be on the job twenty-four hours a day to see that they are properly provided for in every detail. Above all, He is very jealous of His name and high reputation as “The Good Shepherd.”
He is the owner who delights in His flock. For Him there is no greater reward, no deeper satisfaction, than that of seeing His sheep contented, well fed, safe and flourishing under His care. This is indeed His very ‘life.’ He gives all He has to it. He literally lays Himself out for those who are His. He will go to no end of trouble and labor to supply them with the finest grazing, the richest pasturage, ample winter feed, and clean water. He will spare Himself no pains to provide shelter from storms, protection from ruthless enemies and the diseases and parasites to which sheep are so susceptible. No wonder Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd — the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” And again, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”
From early dawn until late at night this utterly self-less Shepherd is alert to the welfare of His flock. For the diligent sheep man rises early and goes out first thing every morning without fail to look over his flock. It is the initial, intimate contact of the day. With a practiced, searching, sympathetic eye he examines the sheep to see that they are fit and content and able to be on their feet. In an instant he can tell if they have been molested during the night — whether any are ill or if there are some which require special attention. Repeatedly throughout the day he casts his eye over the flock to make sure that all is well. Not even at night is he oblivious to their needs. He sleeps as it were ‘with one eye and both ears open’ ready at the least sign of trouble to leap up and protect his own. This is a sublime picture of the care given to those whose lives are under Christ’s control. He knows all about their lives from morning to night”. Phillip Keller [A Shepherd looks at Psalm 23]
PRAYER If Yahweh is your Lord and Shepherd, then spend some time thanking Him for His abundant care.