“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,
declares the Sovereign LORD.”
God has had some very hard words to say about the shepherds of Israel – those with the responsibility for the people’s spiritual care, direction and well-being. So strongly did He feel about it that He said with terrifying words that He was against them. Now His intention was to Himself look after His sheep and not to leave it to others who did not have the same love and commitment.
His words express two realities very strongly. The first is the truth of ownership. Although the whole earth and everything in it is the Lord’s His people belong to Him in a very special way. They are ‘my sheep.’ That is also the case today with those who are truly Christian – who are ‘in Christ.’ We belong to God with a bond which is unbreakable and which no one and nothing is capable of destroying. We need to grasp and hold onto this great truth. It is a reality on which we can depend.
The second great reality is the incredible commitment that God has made to His people – both in His promises and in the life, death and resurrection of His Son on our behalf. God Himself has committed Himself to us for time and for eternity. He will always ‘tend My sheep.’ His picture is that of a shepherd caring for his flock and we are to begin our understanding of it in that way. God does not desert us, He does not ignore us, He does not play games with us. On the contrary He is committed to leading, caring for and protecting His flock – individually and as a whole. If we choose to wander away we can – but He will choose to follow and find us and, in terms of His purpose and commitment, bring us back into his loving will.
God has chosen us for Himself – and has committed Himself to us. Wherever and however you are cherish that truth.
Ask God to help You believe this glorious truth and choose to trust Him for it.
Father, I want so much to believe – help me to put my trust in You no matter what the outward circumstances appear to be. You, my glorious Father, will look after me. Amen.