Today’s Scripture: Psalm 78:40-72
By: Dr. Barry Rock
In the second half of this song, the Psalmist recounts the up and down circumstances and attitudes of God’s chosen people. God redeemed them from Egypt using Moses as his instrument of relief and exodus. But they forgot the power that God showed the Egyptians. Even after the devastating plagues used to convince Pharaoh, even in the desert provision of quail and manna, even after giving them the land of giants beyond the Jordan, they did not cement their devotion. They suffered for their lack of faith and endured the consequences of their choices.
God, still faithful, raised up a tribe: Judah. From that tribe he found one that would both follow God and lead His people. David, God’s servant, became king. As He did with Moses, God once again used the lowly, yet faithful, to lead His people.
Our lives are not so different from the people of Israel. We have a difficult time staying true, holding faith with God who never fails and always loves. God knew that we, too, would need a redeemer, a Savior. So He sent Jesus.
God used Moses who had been busy tending the flocks of his father-in-law. He was an exile full of self-doubt. God used the youngest boy in a large family, David. He tended sheep and cared for his brothers. Yet God used him and his shepherd’s tool to fell a giant and become God’s own tool for the rebuilding of God’s Kingdom on earth.
While we have no record of Jesus tending real sheep in his youth, it is not difficult to believe that understanding and caring for family animals was a part of his upbringing. He knew that we, like sheep, needed a shepherd, a Savior. Yet this time, instead of raising the lowly and faithful from among His people, God became flesh; He made himself lowly and remained perfectly faithful. Jesus became the Redeemer of us all. He became the Good Shepherd.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.