Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Promising for Sheep?-Take 4

In Psalm 23, David has revealed many benefits that sheep possess, as a result of having the Lord as their Shepherd. Sheep will have a competent leader, guide, manager, & nutritionist, to look out for all of their needs. Sheep also benefit from the contentment that results from an intimate relationship with the Shepherd. Sheep also need to be "on the move", in order to preserve the life of both the sheep & the land. David now unpacks further insights in the Psalm. He specifically reveals the care that the Shepherd provides, as He leads His sheep through the "Valleys" of life.

"GOD has made for man a path to walk in.   In His will there is order and purpose"  - Anonymous

A little girl repeating the Twenty-Third Psalm said it this way: "The LORD is my Shepherd,  that's all I want"Henry Ward Beecher

I sure hope he knows where he is going! That valley looks DANGEROUS!
Did Ewe enjoy the trip to the "Highlands"? I did except for some of the valleys!
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death.." Psalm 23:4a

In many western ranches & in Palestine, most knowledgeable Shepherds ensue the common practice of moving their flocks to higher ground for the summer & fall months. This requires a fair amount of planning, since sheep need to be led through many dangerous valleys in order to reach the higher elevations! For example, there are dangerous storms to weather, dangerous plants, rock slides, & rivers to avoid, & finally, there's always the distinct possibility of ravenous predators! The Shepherd is keenly aware of these dangers & skillfully guides his flock upwards, knowing that higher ground is "just what the doctor ordered" for his sheep in the summer & fall.

"We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."     Author: Martin Luther King Jr.
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13)

Up, Up, & Away We go! EWE are going to LOVE it!
The high country is like "Green Acres", it's the place to be!
" I will fear no evil; for You are with me;.." Psalm 23:4b
David knew first-hand the obstacles associated with a long "sheep drive" to higher ground. He was aware of what the sheep would be facing on their trek. However, he also knew, that the LORD was HIS Shepherd, & was also intimately acquainted with his life. Just as David was skillfully anticipating solutions for the challenges before him, so His Shepherd was doing so for him. That's why he could confidently state, "I will fear no evil"! Did the dangers of wild weather, raging riversstalking predators, or sudden rock slides diminish? Or did David's bold declaration of His Shepherd's presence change his outlook? It reminds me of an old saying; " If Ewe have a BIG GOD, Ewe have 'small problems', & if Ewe have a 'small God', Ewe have 'BIG PROBLEMS'!"

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. " Author: Billy Graham
" What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? " Romans 8:31
Do Ewe like my new "camouflage" outfit?

I insist on taking Ewe out for dinner!
Shepherds deepen their relationships with their sheep on their long "drives" to the higher elevations in the summer & fall of the year. Although an extremely dangerous trek, it proves to be a truly fruitful & worthwhile journey! 

Don't Ewe think this place is really a "COOL"?
I love spending extra time with the Shepherd! The food's not bad either!
Even though the way may seem difficult at times, follow the Shepherd! Ewe won't be disappointed in His final destination for EWE!

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, & the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

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