4. The Good Shepherd and the Flock of God | avb4you.info
God's relationship to the nation Israel was likened to that of a shepherd and his flock; God was Israel's Shepherd, and the people were His flock. Jesus is called the good shepherd, so why does Jesus use the analogy of His being a shepherd, and we being His sheep? The Nature of. The Bible describes close relationships between shepherds and their flocks. The sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd. They follow him.
Others of the flock enter the stream with hesitation and alarm. Not being close to their guide, they may miss the fording place and be carried down the river a distance, but will probably be able to clamber ashore. The little lambs may be driven into the water by the dogs, and they are heard to bleat pitifully as they leap and plunge. Some manage to get across, but if one is swept away, then the shepherd leaps quickly into the stream and rescues it, carrying it in his bosom to the shore.
When they all arrive over the stream, the lambs will gambol about with joy, and the sheep will gather around their shepherd as if to express their thankfulness to him. Special care of baby lambs, and sheep with young ones.
When lambing time comes, the shepherd must take great care of his flock. The task is made more difficult because it so often becomes necessary to move to a new location to find pasturage. The sheep that are soon to become mothers, as well as those with their young ones, must be kept close to the shepherd while in transit.
Little helpless lambs that cannot keep up with the rest of the flock, are carried in the bosom of his undergarment, the girdle turning it into a pocket. Care of sick or wounded sheep. The shepherd is always on the lookout for members of his flock that need personal attention.
Sometimes a lamb suffers from the rays of the sun, or its body may have been badly scratched by some thornbush. Watching sheep at night. In weather that permits, the shepherds often keep their flocks in the open country. These simple beds were arranged in a circle, and sticks and roots were collected at the center for a fire.063 - Good Shepherd Parable
Protection of sheep from robbers and wild animals. The sheep need to be guarded against robbers not only when they are in the open country, but also when they are in the fold. The bandits of Palestine are not apt to pick locks, but some of them may manage to climb up over the wall, and get into the fold, where they cut the throats of as many of the animals as possible and then sling them over the wall to others of their band, and all of them attempt to escape without being caught.
The shepherd must be on guard constantly for such an emergency, and must be ready for quick action to protect his rights in the flock. The wild animals of Palestine today include wolves, panthers, hyenas, and jackals. The lion has not lived in the land since the days of the Crusaders.
 The Shepherd and the Sheep
The last bear was killed over half a century ago. One experienced Syrian shepherd is reported to have followed a hyena to his lair and compelled the animal to give up his prey. He won his victory over the wild beast by himself howling in characteristic fashion, striking on rocks with his heavy staff, and flinging deadly stones with his slingshot. The sheep was then carried in his arms back to the fold. Seeking and finding lost sheep.
The Shepherd and His Sheep
Being responsible for anything that happens to one of his flock, the Eastern shepherd will spend hours if necessary in traversing the wilderness or mountain side, in search of a sheep that has strayed away and is lost. After weary hours of hunting for it, it will usually be found in some waterless hollow in the wilderness, or in some desolate mountain ravine. The exhausted creature will be borne home on the shoulders of the sturdy shepherd.
But, following is the most crucial part for the sheep. He will be isolated from the flock and vulnerable to the attacks of wild animals, as well as the elements. He will not know where to find provision.
- Responsibilities of a Shepherd
- The Lord Is My Shepherd
Only the one who follows the shepherd enjoys all the benefits he provides. In order to follow, we must keep our ears tuned for the voice of the shepherd and keep our eyes on the shepherd.
When He moves, those who are attentive to His voice and movements will immediately move with Him and enjoy the provision, protection, and safety He provides. Moses and King David. God called both of these men to become great leaders in Israel while they were occupied as shepherds.
It was on the lonely, barren hilltops that they learned to be leaders. In solitude, they learned the lessons of listening to and communing with God. They learned to be ready to deal with any threat or problem that endangered the flock. David cited some of these abilities when talking Saul into letting him fight Goliath. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.
David had the courage to go after the lion and the bear. He cared enough about the sheep to put his own life in danger. All the while, he knew that God was the One who delivered him as he stepped out in faith to deal with the perils that came his way. Moses was a leader appointed by God to lead the children of Israel. Moses did not lead with arrogance but instead recognized that he was totally reliant on the leadership of the Lord.
God puts leaders in place to shepherd His people. A wise leader recognizes the responsibilities, is faithful to act, but recognizes that his strength comes from the Lord. As the wise leader follows the Good Shepherd, he or she finds success, safety, and provision. In reading the accounts of the kings of Judah and Israel, I am struck by how a king was judged as good or evil in the sight of the Lord.
It really all boils down to one thing.
Like rebellious sheep, they went their own way. I have been a follower, and I am now a leader. Or you could say that I have been a sheep and am now a shepherd. I have learned that leadership is not for the weak, lazy, or unsure. Leadership requires courage, faithfulness, faith, energy, compassion, and the ability to make decisions.
There are always sheep in need of care and feeding. God demands that the shepherd put the needs of the sheep before their own needs. The weak, sick, lost, and displaced sheep must be nurtured, doctored, found, and restored.
There are frequently threatening situations and challenges which must be solved. But, most importantly for the Christian leader, he or she must set the example by knowing God, listening to His voice, and following Him wholeheartedly. The leader who does these things will have his or her priorities in order and will not fall. Sheep have a few responsibilities too.
He has also given us earthly shepherds to lead us. We need to follow those God has put in authority over us, to respect and pray for them. In addition to rulers in the secular realm, as Christians, He has also given us shepherds in the church where He has planted us. For a number of years, my father pastored a local church.
It is a huge responsibility, requiring much more than the ability to preach or teach well. The job of a shepherd includes caring for, nurturing, protecting, and leading. They paid themselves huge bonuses while the workers floundered.
God expects a higher standard from leaders. Leaders are to be people of integrity who care deeply about the needs of their flock. Leaders need to take seriously the words of Yeshua who said the two greatest commandments were to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Today, some leaders seem to love themselves more. God told Ezekiel to prophecy against such leaders. Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings and you do not feed the flock.
They remember their handler. They also remember people who inflict abuse upon them.
There is a commonly-held belief that shepherds in Biblical times would break the legs of lambs that constantly wandered away. According to the "story," the shepherd would then set the broken leg and carry the lamb on his shoulders until the leg healed, after which time the lamb would remain by the shepherd's side for the rest of its life.
While there is no way to know for certain what Biblical shepherds did, there is no such story in the Bible, and to do so would be cruel and impractical. In many homes, a lamb-shaped cake decorates the table.
Many Eastern Orthdox Christians hang pictures of the Easter lamb in their homes. Sacrificial lamb Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.
He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. He was willing to do so, but God gave him a sheep ram to sacrifice instead of his son Christians and Jews believe that the life of Isaac was saved, while Muslims believe that it was Ismael that was nearly sacrificed on the alter.
Jews and Arabs trace their heritage to Isaac and Ismael, respectively. Festival of Sacrifice In commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, a religious festival is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. The festival is called Eid al-Adha.
Its English translation is "Festival of Sacrifice. As a symbol of Abraham's sacrifice, Muslims who are able sacrifice a sheep or other domestic animal. The sheep have to meet certain age requirements at least one year of age and quality standards unblemished. The meat is shared with family and friends and distributed to the poor.
Aqeeqah aqiqah The Muslim "equivalent" to Christian Baptism is aqeeqah, which occurs 7 days after the birth of a child.