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THE GOOD SHEPHERD

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.      

Psalm 23:1-6

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Who is a Shepherd?

A shepherd is one who tends a flock, to pasture, to graze and feed. A shepherd can also mean a ruler, teacher. A shepherd cares about his sheep or his pastures. He endeavors to nourish his sheep/herd and sustain them. Just like a father nourishes his family; seeking better means of living for his home, a shepherd cares for the sheep and feeds them. Therefore, I can say without the shepherd, I mean a good shepherd, the sheep will be disorganized, scattered, uncared for, ill nurtured or malnourished.

A Good Shepherd

Jesus is the true shepherd; he gave himself for us while we were once under the yoke of sin. Man fell and all that was in his loins but God did not leave us naked or emptied. Though we have disobeyed Him but still he clothed us with his love; he slaughtered an animal and clothed us with the skin how delightful. Once, we have used fig leaves as clothes and wore them, he knew we needed help and support, he quickly rescued us from the enemy. Even after he clothed us, he sent Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden so that they will not eat of the tree of life and live forever in sin.

God is indeed our Shepherd. And as if that wasn’t enough, he raised us as one who will crush the enemy’s head; Satan’s head crusher. He promised to give us all that we have lost to our arch enemy who wants to destroy our relationship with God by all means. And this we saw as he sent his son, Jesus who came to save us and redeem us from sin and its consequences and not only that he restored us back in that place of honor and glory where we are now sit with Christ. Awesome isn’t it? We are co-heirs with Christ, loved and restored. Without a doubt God is our Shepherd. Even now he continues to feed, guide and protect us. We are no longer under any bondage to fear. He paid the huge sacrifice for us all.  

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15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Gen 3:15 KJV

Still speaking of a good Shepherd, David is a good example. He possessed the heart of a shepherd this we saw him display on the field in the wilderness where I feel God used tested him before making King over his precious people. David tends his father (Jesse)’s sheep in the wilderness, just like a good shepherd would do he is always with them leading them to where greener pastures are.     

15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

1 Sam 17:15 KJV

He stayed with them both night and day and when his sheep were attacked by a lion and a bear at different times, the Bible said, he took the sheep out of the lion’s mouth. Haaa!! I feel that was so audacious, how can a young lad who was only a teenager have such boldness and strength? He not only took the sheep out of the mouth of the lion, he killed the lion and this goes for the bear. He killed with a stone, that’s supernatural isn’t it? Not with swords, arrows, or gunshot but with a stone; Beautiful!

34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:

35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.

1 Sam 17:34-35 KJV

Let’s do a flash back, Jesus rescued us from the jaws of death and dispossessed death of its sting. Wow! The Scripture says, Jesus, having disarm principalities and power, he made a show of them, triumphing over them victoriously.  

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col 2:15 KJV

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 15:55-57 KJV

That exactly was portrayed by David, he snatched the Sheep out of the jaws of the Lion and the bear and he didn’t just set the sheep free but he killed the Lion and the bear. Imagine, being delivered from your creditors, this will mean paying in full all debts accruing to your account but Jesus didn’t just pay off the debt, the debt was over-paid, no strings attached. Forever free; forgiven and loved. The sheep were no longer afraid of the Lion, they know that their Shepherd has all it takes to protect and shield them. Jesus rules as master over all powers, dominion and might. Indeed, we have a good shepherd, he is indomitable and is above all things.

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 1:21-22 KJV

David having conquered the Lion and the bear had another greater task. He is to kill and put under subjection, the Philistines; the enemy of God’s people. David looked like the man for the job, he possesses all necessary credentials God needs to put the enemy to flight and that’s what happened exactly. David arrived at the battle front and saw how an ordinary giant, the lead of the Philistines rage and desire to make God’s people slaves forever. David arrived just in time to prove that God is not dead but very much alive. He dared the giant not considering his hugeness (height and all other physical estimations that everyone was talking about).

And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.

24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.  

1 Sam 17:23-25 KJV

He has just one focus, the Lord God who is capable of delivering into his hands, the Lion and the bear is capable and very ready to deliver this uncircumcised philistine into my hands. He is not concerned about the stories of woes and depression everybody has to tell.

32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

1 Sam 17:32-33 KJV

He had set his face like a flint on God alone, his trust was in God and with this strong might he arose to fight the Giant. To cut the story short, he killed Goliath, the hero of the Philistines; at this the army of Israel mustered strength and pursued the Philistines killing many and taking slaves and spoils from the miraculous battle won on their behalf.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

1 Sam 17:50-52 KJV

1 Sam 17:50-52 KJV

It looks to me like the LEGAL part of faith and the VITAL part of faith.

After the understanding of the finished work, Goliath has been killed and his sword had been used to cut his head and there was an undeniable proof of the battle. The battle had been won, now it was time for the vital part of faith. They knew the victory was theirs and with this might they pursued the Philistines; the same Philistine they dreaded that they were afraid of for several days after they have been threatened.   

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

1 Sam 17:46-47 KJV

They saw light, they pursued their enemies and defeated them hands down and took what belongs to them, “The finished works of Jesus”. Nothing could withstand their faith in God anymore: no doubt, no fear, no nothing, the way has been made clear enough, now they walk in it undefeatable, knowing fully well that they have been made conquerors and overcomers in Christ Jesus (David’s victory).

48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

1 Sam 17:48-51 KJV

Now, we know the Good shepherd, He is our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He made us we are sheep of His pasture. We are nourished by Him and we are victorious in Him. As we put absolute trust in him knowing that what he has finished is truly finished, we will live in the rest of God. We will no longer struggle, complain, strife for irrelevant things instead we will enjoy all he has in stock for us. Glory!!!   

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