Consider sheep. Pictured in fairy tales as sweet, precious little animals who are cuddly and comforting, yet if you’ve ever visited a sheep farm, petting zoo, or a county fair and walked among the sheep you may have made a much different observation.
Sheep are noisy. They don’t often smell nice. Sheep tend to be dirty. And, well, they’re not the smartest animal ever created. How strange that God’s people are referred to as sheep! Or is it all that strange?
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
The picture this paints is one of a Loving Shepherd who will lower Himself to pick up a lost sheep – noisy, smelly, and dirty – and hold that beast to his breast and carry it to safety while leading the others where He intends for them to go.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes in detail for us the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” all of which are displayed in the picture of Isaiah 40:11: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
In and of ourselves we bear all the attributes of sheep. Yet, our Gentle Shepherd still reaches down from His heavenly estate, picks us up when we find ourselves tangled in the affairs of this life, holds us close to his breast, and carries us to safety while He leads all His sheep to a place of nourishing pastures.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
Dear Lord, guide us as the Gentle Shepherd, take us into Your tender care. Nourish us, rescue us, lead us, and comfort us. Thank You for your undeserved mercy toward us. Oh how I love you , Shepherd of my soul! Amen!
“As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” (Ezekiel 34:12)
© Jan Ross
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