DayBreaks for 07/3112 – God the Shepherd
I have often thought about the metaphors that scripture uses to describe God. There are many! God is simply too large to be contained in one single metaphor or analogy. In Traveling Light, Max Lucado takes a look at the 23rd Psalm and he (as usual) had some interesting insights.
When I have thought about the concept of the shepherd, my mind (as is humanly selfish) is often drawn to what that analogy means about ME. I spent my first 8 years or so on a farm with sheep and other animals, and I can tell you that being described as a sheep is not flattering. Sheep are stubborn. Sheep are stupid. Sheep are fearful. Sheep are prone to wander off. Sheep, to put it delicately…stink. And their wool doesn’t lend itself to cleanliness. Sheep aren’t much good for anything except eating, shearing, being eaten or sleeping. Sheep need someone to lead them. Not a bad description of us as humans, right?
But Max turned the concept around and instead of focusing on what the sheep metaphor means about us he probed on what it means about the Shepherd. Listen to his thoughts about this analogy: “Couldn’t David have thought of a better metaphor? Surely he could have. After all, he outran Saul and outgunned Goliath. Why didn’t he choose something other than sheep?
“How about: ‘The Lord is my commander-in-chief, and I am his warrior.’ There. We like that better. A warrior gets a uniform and a weapon, maybe even a medal.
“Or, ‘The Lord is my inspiration, and I am his singer.’ We are in God’s choir; what a flattering assignment.
“Or, ‘The Lord is my king, and I am his ambassador.’ Who wouldn’t like to be a spokesman for God?
“Everyone stops when the ambassador speaks. Everyone listens when God’s minstrel sings. Everyone applauds when God’s warrior passes.
“But who notices when God’s sheep show up? Who notices when the sheep sing or speak or act? Only one person notices. The Shepherd. And that is precisely David’s point.”
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to make too much of scripture focus on ME (the sheep) when I should be focusing on what it is saying about GOD (the Shepherd). God, the Shepherd, is the one who notices. No one else does. But He is enough!!!
PRAYER: Let us be content to be Your sheep and to keep the focus on You, our Shepherd. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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