I watched a video years ago of a flock of sheep that had been covered with lights at night. Shepherds then used their sheepdogs to move the sheep. The sheep were moved back and forth, creating a scene from the classic Pong game. Next, the sheep were moved in an up and out pattern giving the appearance of exploding fireworks. My conclusion from this video is that sheep are easy to manipulate.
Sheep are not the smartest creatures. They do not the have greatest eyesight so they tend to follow the sheep in front of them. Sheep can get stuck in a bog, rescued, and then get stuck in the same way the next day. They are also prone to wandering off and getting lost and are utterly defenseless. It is humbling then to consider all the times humans are referred to as sheep in the Bible. We really need a loving, caring, thoughtful, protective leader to guide us.
How awesome is it that Jesus is the perfect complement to our problematic selves? We are prone to get lost in life but Jesus is “the Way” (John 14:6). When we find ourselves without answers we can find counsel in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We tend to get stuck on the same problem and hung up on our individual vices but the grace of God is abundant (Lamentations 3:22-23). We are constantly being attacked by an enemy that wants to devour us, but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, sacrificed Himself so we could live (John 3:16). When we feel timid or alone we are assured that Jesus is with us, comforting us (Psalm chapter 23).
Ezekiel 34:11-16 is a wonderful passage. In this passage, we read that life will be tough. We will get lost and scared in the storms of life but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is coming for us. He will carry us out of the storm and into a peaceful place where we will be tended to, comforted, and fed.
Jesus is not “a” shepherd, He is “the” shepherd. I hope you know the voice of your shepherd and are always listening for it.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1 (NIV)