The Sheep and The Shepherd
Psalm 100:3-“Know Ye that the Lord, He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of His pasture.”
The Sheep and Shepherd symbol is used prominently in scripture, to exemplify the ideal relationship that ought to exist between Man and God.
More than at any other time, the Sheep needs the Shepherd most, at a time of crisis. Why?
1. The sustenance of the sheep depends entirely on the shepherd. Psalm 23:1-“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. The Shepherd knows where the pasture is green, luscious and edible. As long as the Sheep follows the Shepherd’s leading and guidance, it is assured of sustenance. Crisis is a type of wilderness where food and water are scarce. You need to depend entirely on God at a time like this, for sustenance. Not that you would fold your hands and expect manna to fall from heaven; but that you should let God’s Spirit guide and direct your thoughts, decisions, choices and actions.
2. The safety of the sheep depends on the shepherd. In crisis, as in the wilderness, there is danger to the sheep. Wild animals see the sheep as food to be hunted down and consumed. Fraudsters abound at a time like this, capitalizing on people’s desperation for survival to fleece them of their valuables. It is a time of survival of the fittest where might is right. Unfortunately, the sheep has no might, being a meek and gentle animal. The Shepherd is his might. Psalm 23:4-“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…” At a time of crisis, there will be many seemingly attractive offerings and get-rich schemes put before men, promising what cannot be delivered, but too tempting to resist. It takes the discerning scrutiny of the Shepherd to know which is a path of life and a path of death: Proverbs 14:12-“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Many people lose their fortunes during crisis as a result of wrong choices. A sheep walks by sight oblivious of danger, whereas the Shepherd walks by the spiritual intuition. 2 Corinthians 5:7-“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
3. In crisis, the sheep risks mingling with, and being corrupted by the goat. There is a wide gap between the sheep and the goat. Their characters and lifestyles are remarkably different. Unlike the sheep, the goat is unruly, stubborn and grazes anywhere. It has no shepherd, therefore, it leads a rough, dirty life, to survive. A sheep which out of desperation, abandons his Shepherd, to follow the goat, will end up living the goat’s life. Crisis is a breeding ground for compromises, corruption of morals and christian ethics. A sheep that wanders away from the shepherd at a time like this, is in danger of losing its character. Only by sticking with the Lord despite the surrounding panic and heat of the crisis, will you remain on the path of righteousness: Psalm 23:3-“He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.” God cares, not just that you survive this crisis, but that you survive without backsliding. You must not trade away your spiritual integrity or edifying moral principles, just to survive. The crisis is not an excuse to cheat others, sell your body, receive bribe, embezzle funds entrusted to your care, or engage in other forms of criminality, in the name of survival. With God, the end does not always justify the means. God cares more about the ‘How’ than about the ‘What’. Those who prosper by bending God’s rules, risk being bended by God. Prov:28:20.
4. The good shepherd will go to any length and do whatever it would take, to care for and preserve the sheep, no matter the extent of the crisis. Isaiah 43:19:”Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” John 10:11-“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the Sheep.” If it would take God to bring water out the rock for you, He will, because He did it before, Exodus 16:6, Numbers 20:11; if it would require the parting of a Red Sea for your sake, He will do it, because He did it before, Exodus 14:21; and if it would demand the falling of a Goliath, 1 Samuel 17; or the pulling down of a Wall of Jericho, for you to survive, your Good Shepherd will do it, because He did it before, Joshua 6:1-27.
What are the Shepherd’s Expectations of the Sheep?
3. Faith and Trust in the Shepherd. Hebrews 11:6-“ But without faith, it is impossible to please Him;”Proverbs 3:5-“ Trust in the Lord in all thine heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. Isaiah 26:3-“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Finally, please note that there is an eternal reward for a Sheep that sticks with the Shepherd through tick and thin. 1 Peter 5:4-“And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, Ye shall receive a crown of glory, that fadeth not away.” If you do not allow the challenges of this crisis to sweep you away from God’s Presence, no matter what you experience, you can be rest assured that you will last laugh. That will be your portion, in Jesus name. Good morning and do have a beautiful weekend.
God Loves You
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Father! In The Mighty Name Of Jesus Christ Your Son! We Cover Your Son Pastor E A Adeboye With The Precious Blood Of Jesus! He Shall Finish Strong, To Your Glory Through Christ Jesus Our Lord And Saviour! Amen!
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