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. Psalm 100:3
“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me…” John 10:14
In As I Was Saying, I’ve written of my youth, including experiences caring for sheep. Not good. At all. Lessons then did prove useful to me later, in the season of raising children. I think there were somewhat better outcomes.
Pictures in the Word show God’s people as sheep, and the Lord Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is spiritually detrimental to lose the meaning of these images. Phillip Keller, introducing his A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, notes that many have a deficit in understanding many biblical stories and illustrations, due to coming from an “urban, man-made environment.”
The benefit gained through learning of things rural and natural, is better understanding and closer application of His Word to our lives.
Rebellious, stubborn, defenseless, prone to wander… you can discover many things about the nature of sheep, and why the picture fits us so well.
Caring, protecting, leading, feeding, correcting… you begin to understand more of the heart of the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Heb. 13:20).
We should not neglect regular, deep times in God’s Word. Tools to aid our biblical understanding need to be chosen with discernment: there is much dross among the gold.
…be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. Ecclesiastes 12:12b
One day we shall enter new pastures. We will stand before the One who has cared for us through this life, and into the life to come: The Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Pe. 2:25).