The Great Shepherd God
|Pixabay (Public Domain)|
Of all the occupations to choose as a way to illustrate His character, God chose to be likened to a shepherd.
Shepherds were not exactly the upper crust of society. In fact, they were pretty much the lowest of the low.
Remember the story of Israel (aka Jacob) coming to live in Egypt? Joseph told his father that when the Pharaoh asked him what he did to sustain life he was to emphasize that they were shepherds. That was a guarantee that Pharaoh would settle them as far away from the Egyptians as possible. The Egyptians despised shepherds.
But the Highest of the high chose to be named as a shepherd. The God of the universe walks the earth with staff in hand to look after the interests of His band of sheep. But He relinquishes nothing in this move to the lowliest of occupations.
He is always God. His is always all-powerful, always all-knowing, always present everywhere. He doesn’t need naps, or lunch breaks, or vacations, or assistance. And He never quits. He is the LORD.
Psalm 121 describes our Great Shepherd God on guard this way:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slump nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Don Baker writes: “And, if he needs help from no one, if He knows no limitations, if all that will ever be needed is already present in His own being, then, He can be to us, His sheep, all that we will ever need…If I have nothing but my Lord, I have everything I need. The condition of every flock is determined by the shepherd who tends it. Sheep are unable to meet their own needs. But then, they don’t have to. The Lord is my shepherd.” (The Way of the Shepherd).
Take special note of those last few sentences. The sheep can’t look after themselves. “But then, they don’t have to.” The Great Shepherd God is on duty.