DayBreaks for 11/08/19: The Sheepdogs of Jesus
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2009:
Everyone is familiar with the various images of Jesus in scripture as the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is good not only because of what He does for the sheep, but because of who He is in His being. Much has been written about the sheep and the Shepherd and rightly so, and of course, Psalm 23 is the most well-known passage describing the Lord as our Shepherd.
Max Lucado, in one of his books, was looking at Psalm 23:6 which says, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever when he suggested that “goodness and mercy” are the names of God’s sheepdogs. While on the surface it may seem to be a flippant comment, a bit more reflection is perhaps appropriate. We’ve become so familiar with the words of this Psalm that it’s easy to miss what it is really trying to say to us. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is out in front leading us as a good shepherd must do. But if he’s out leading, who’s watching the flock as it stretches out behind Him? “Goodness and Mercy.”
It is goodness (not ours, but His) and mercy (certainly not ours, but His) that follows behind us making sure that none of us fall by the wayside or get so far behind that we can no longer see the Shepherd. And we need both sheepdogs: we need His goodness for we have none of our own and we need His mercy because we are sinful. These things, David said, would follow him for all the days of his life. We might be tempted to think, “Sure, but I’m no David. I’m not anything like David.” That may be true but remember that David at times didn’t act like much of a saint, either. Goodness and mercy didn’t follow David because he had earned it, but because that is the nature of how God deals with His flock…leading them with His Presence, following along behind them with His goodness and mercy.
PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for leading us. Thank You for pursuing us with Your goodness and mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>