Tuesday, December 13, 2011


A reader responded to my “Cattle” blog:
A good pastor never forgets he is a shepherd--not a cattleman.
What do you know about the difference between taking care of cattle and sheep?  There were lots of cattle in Bible times.  Camels, too, as well as goats.  All of these herds require caretaking.  All require men to look after them, to protect them and see to their well-being as they provide for the needs of their owners.
Why then, does the Bible focus on the caregiving of the shepherd? Why do we read:

The LORD is my shepherd; (Psalms 23:1a KJV)

David was a shepherd, so perhaps that isn’t a good example.  Much earlier, though, Jacob recognized a shepherd in the last blessings of his sons:

But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) (Genesis 49:24 KJV)

Isaiah described our Lord so very well:

Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:10-11 KJV)

Isaiah wrote of Him in detail, and He told us the prophecy was fulfilled:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 4:16-21 KJV)

John 10 has much to say about the Shepherd and His flock, but my favorite is:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11 KJV)

Do your own search, find your own favorite verses.  We both know that among them will be one true for me and thee:

The LORD is my shepherd; (Psalms 23:1a KJV)

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