July - 26 - Wednesday

You led your people like a flock.
Psalm 77:20

A shepherd leads the flock to places where they can find suitable food. He knows exactly what kind of food they need. He also knows where there is danger besides the paths and places where they can graze and rest without any risk.

Many Christians can sincerely confirm that God has led them during their lives to places that were good for them. These places often turned out to be those that we ourselves would never have chosen, but they proved to be the best. That does not mean that God’s ways were always pleasant for us. They were often difficult, but the consequence was peace, rest and joy, at least as long as we followed the Good Shepherd and listened to His voice.

By nature we are inclined to make our decisions alone and independently of God. But there are thousands of situations in life that we cannot foresee and which are too difficult for us. In such circumstances we like to depend on someone who has experience and is prepared to take over the burden of leadership. The best thing we can do is constantly follow the Good Shepherd in all things.

A shepherd protects his flock. That was formerly no easy task; it was dangerous when there were wild animals and thieves lurking nearby. Occasionally the shepherd had to fight at the risk of his own life. David, for instance, fought with a lion and a bear to save his sheep (cf. 1 Samuel 17:34-37).

The Lord Jesus laid down His life for us, His sheep. He is the Good Shepherd. And just as a shepherd knows what is dangerous for the sheep, He knows the devil’s wiles. But He has already overcome him. To be safe, we need only to keep close to our Shepherd.