He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Most of us are well versed with Psalm 23, the Lord, our Shepherd. What does the Lord imply when He identifies Himself with a mere shepherd? Why a shepherd? What is the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep?
Ownership: The shepherd ‘knows’ His sheep and His sheep know Him. This means the Shepherd is aware of every need of His sheep, every shortcoming, every weakness, every fault and knowing it all, He takes full ownership and full responsibility of leading, nurturing and protecting His flock.
Provision: The shepherd knows where the pastures are greener, even when all seems barren and dry and leads His flock in that direction. He doesn’t just do this for the lambs but His leading and provision is for His entire flock-the old, the young and the ewes.
Responsibility: When the shepherd takes responsibility that means he is also responsible for the behaviour of his sheep. So, when the sheep tend to go astray, it is he who is watching over them and if required, may leave all the others to bring back the one/s lost. If any are wounded or hurt, he is the one who cares for them by carrying them until they have healed. What an amazing portrait of the love of our Lord! He is their protector and deliverer!
Love and Compassion: One of the most beautiful portrayals of how the Lord cares about mothers is how the shepherd cares for the ewes. He GENTLY leads them. He is aware that they find it hard to keep up with the entire herd at times and he himself carries the young for the mother’s sake so she can catch up. He is sensitive to the challenges she has to face and does all he can to help.
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Shepherd God-sensitive, supportive, loving and caring!