Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last Sunday I began a new series on a very familiar psalm – Ps. 23. In this psalm, David highlights the compassion, care, protection, and provision the Lord had granted him throughout all his days. David, who was a shepherd of his father’s sheep while he was a boy and young man, realizes that the role of God in his life was very much like the role he played in the life of the sheep under his watch care. David was the protector, provider, guide, and physician of the sheep, just as God was for him.
In the sermon, several times I quoted the author David Roper. Let me repeat one of those quotations here. As he pictured David writing this psalm, Roper writes:
“He (David) thought of the incessant care that sheep require – their helplessness and defenselessness. He recalled their foolish straying from safe paths, their constant need for a guide. He thought of the time and the patience it took for them to trust him before they would follow. He remembered the times when he led them through danger and they huddled close at his heels. He pondered the fact that he must think for his sheep, fight for them, guard them, and find their pasture and quiet pools. He remembered their bruises and scratches that he bound up, and he marveled at how frequently he had to rescue them from harm. Yet not one of his sheep was aware of how well it was watched. Yes, he mused, God is very much like a good shepherd.”
As a shepherd, there were so many things David did for his sheep, things that were absolutely necessary for their well-being and even their survival. Roper makes the keen insight that typically, the sheep were not even aware of how well they were being watched and cared for.
In Jn. 10:10-11, Jesus declared that He is the Good Shepherd who came to give us life to the full, even laying His life down for us. Jesus wants us to experience a full and meaningful life. It’s impossible to know how many times He has protected us from danger, how He has led us along the right path (even when we were intent on taking another path), how He has provided for our needs (perhaps getting that job was not simply the result of our impressive resume). But this we know for sure – the Lord is our Shepherd who loves us and cares for us more than we can possibly know. So be encouraged!
Grace and peace,