Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." Psalm 23: 1,2

The 23rd Psalm is written from a sheep's perspective. Jesus compares us to sheep several times throughout the New Testament. Now at first glance that may seem really sweet. We picture sheep as these cute, wooly little creatures in greeting cards and stuffed animals. The truth is that sheep are one of the dumbest animals alive and they stink! That is why they need a shepherd.

Sheep are creatures of habit. They will stay in one place, grazing on the same spot til they have eaten it clean down to the dirt. Unless a shepherd comes and leads them to green grass, they will starve. He is there to lead them to a place of nourishment and sustenance, to keep them well fed. Without God's guidance, we will get in a rut of sin that can also lead to death. But Jesus came that we might have abundant life IF we follow Him, our shepherd.

Sheep must have clean water to drink and they will not drink from a rushing stream. In the arid regions that Jesus lived in, finding a cool, still stream was not always easy. The sheep had to depend on their shepherd to find such a source of water for them. Drinking from polluted sources could cause sickness and even death. Once again, they needed their shepherd to lead them to still, pure water. Jesus knows exactly what we need in our lives. If we choose to follow Him, he will provide for our every need.

The sheep had to be willing to follow their shepherd. Yet often one would wander away from the fold. Then the shepherd would seek him til he was found and bring him back. God will often allow us to wander a ways on our own, but if we belong to Him, He will always draw us back to Him...He will seek us til we are found. Max Lucado calls Him the "Hound of Heaven".

A smart sheep will learn to heed the voice of his master, following him, trusting him to lead the way and to provide for his needs. The sheep does not question the direction the shepherd is leading nor does he fret and worry over where the shepherd is taking them. They simply take each day as it comes, obeying the voice of the master, knowing that his job is to care for them.

I want to be a simple sheep.

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