"May the God of peace... that great Shepherd
of the sheep, equip you with everything good for
doing his will, and may he work in us what is
pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ..."
“The Lord is my shepherd” begins the most famous psalm in all Scripture. Shepherding was a common occupation in the Ancient Near East. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses all spent time tending sheep. The future King David was a shepherd but also a shadow of the coming Messiah, pointing to the Lord being our shepherd, too.
As Scripture moves along into the New Testament books, Jesus identifies Himself as the divine “I am” who is also the “Good Shepherd” who lays down His life for the sheep (see John 10). Peter, in his first letter, reveals that Jesus is the “chief shepherd.” Driving south from Jerusalem towards the Dead Sea, I couldn’t help but notice how, just like in ancient times, Bedouins today still make their living as shepherds. Flocks are mingled where green grass grows, following the life-giving winter rains. When it comes time to return to the sheepfold, the sheep know their master’s voice, and they answer his call. Likewise, the Shepherd knows His sheep – every one of us – by name.
PRAISE GOD FOR THE LAMB AT THE CENTER OF THE THRONE WHO IS ALSO OUR GOOD SHEPHERD. (SEE REVELATION 7:17)