(Please remember, the “study” is Psalm Twenty Three. Please read it and think about it for yourself. Please also feel free to share with others, and with me, the results of your efforts. –dk)
Oh, yes. Another thought about sheep. They can be led.
I have a West highland Terrier who only has three good legs. I love her a lot, and “Lucky” (that’s what we named her) will follow me everywhere I go. But the “terrier” in her is SO feisty, and defiant. She minds me. . . sometimes. . . well, perhaps occasionally. . . but mostly only when she’s in fear of her life! And, if that weren’t enough, I also have a Brittany Spaniel. “Copper” is a beautiful, intelligent, loving animal. With a mind of her own. And a strong will which resists even the “choker chains” which I feel forced sometimes to use when she takes me for a walk.
Sheep aren’t like that. For some reason, they will yield to the care of the Shepherd, or the guidance of a sheepdog. Evidently, the shepherd used to sing to the sheep like the “singing cowboys” did for their cattle and their horses. And the sheep recognized his voice and came when he called. Or they’d respond to the gentle guidance of the shepherd’s staff. It’s almost like, as “dense” as they may appear, they have sense to realize they NEED the shepherd. They submit to his wisdom and authority and allow him to do what shepherds do best: lead, feed, defend and shelter his sheep.
Sometimes, I act like a Billy goat. Foolishly at times, and always to my detriment, I’ve defied the will of the “Good Shepherd” and doubted or denied His wisdom or his right to rule His sheep . . . which, after all, He has “Purchased at such great price.” Perhaps as we study together, you’ll pray that I will know what and who and whose I am!
One summer long ago as a boy in Vacation Bible School, I heard “Vonnie” Shepherd sing: “Saviour, like a shepherd lead us. Much we need Thy tender care. In Thy pleasant pastures lead us. For our use thy folds prepare. Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus: Thou has bought us, Thine we are. . .”
The pleasant memory of that song on that sunny summer morning long ago has lingered. The truth it teaches is as much an expression of my desire today as it was for David the night he strummed his harp, tuned it up a little, hummed a few bars, and composed the lines that are engraved on our hearts and in our memories forever.
A servant and fellow student, donkimrey