Being a shepherd is a lonely job. You are out in the wilderness with nothing but sheep for long periods. In Biblical times, the shepherd would often have to roam the countryside taking his sheep to where there was enough food for them to eat. At night they would sit up, protecting the sheep against attacks from wolves and bears. God fashions Jesus as your shepherd. He has created you and cares for you.
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
The Life of Sheep
There are so many references to Israel as sheep. For a good reason. Sheep were their primary source of protein and from which they made all of their clothes. Sheep also were the featured animal in the Passover and temple sacrifices. Every Israelite knew the tendencies of sheep and could easily apply the lessons to themselves. Here, the Psalmist refers to the country as a flock of sheep and God as their shepherd. He wanted his readers to know that they were in God’s possession.
Sheep aren’t the brightest animals. They follow the flock wherever it goes, even if that leads to danger. Humans are very similar in that we follow what everyone else is doing even if it goes against God’s will. Matthew 7:13 says broad is the way to destruction. Those who follow what everyone else is doing often end up in trouble. We are called to follow the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus.
Jesus as Your Shepherd
You are a child of God. You are wonderfully made. God is in control and has removed any need to worry. Trust Him because He will lead you through the valley of death and into green pastures. Find yourself lost? Cry out to Him, and He will come and find you. Enter into the peace and joy that is waiting for you.