Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jehovah-raah


Some of you may be familiar with the story of Shrek the sheep (not the green ogre with a Scottish accent). Shrek was a Merino Wether sheep born in New Zealand. Shrek was an individual with a penchant for living a hippie life and was prone to wandering (like most sheep). Hiding in caves he escaped capture for an astounding 6 years! He was finally caught and brought back to his shepherd carrying with him an incredible 60 pounds in extra weight simply because he wanted to do his own thing. His shepherd did not want to harm him in any ways but simply take care of him.
Are you prone to wander? Do you want to be "free" and do your own thing? Do you ignore the call of your Shepherd? Like Shrek, how much weight do you carry around with you?

Come to me all who are weary....

One of the most beautiful picture of God is painted by King David in Psalm 23.
Yahweh is my Roeh.
    I am never in need.
        He makes me lie down in green pastures.
        He leads me beside peaceful waters.
        He renews my soul.
        He guides me along the paths of righteousness
            for the sake of his name.
Even though I walk through the dark valley of death,
    because you are with me, I fear no harm.
        Your rod and your staff give me courage.
You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch.
    You anoint my head with oil.
    My cup overflows.
Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life,
    and I will remain in Yahweh’s house for days without end.
(Names of God Bible)

I am sure that some of you memorized this Psalm or read it many times and proclaimed "The Lord is My Shepherd", my Jehovah-raah. What is meant by that?

He makes me lie down in green pastures...

In Israel green pastures do not look like the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. They look more like that.
Not much green huh!?! That is where the knowledge of the shepherd comes in. He knows exactly where to go to find food for his sheep. The morning dew will make a single tuft of grass sprout and the shepherd knows to lead his sheep to that place and stay for the night.
He leads me beside peaceful waters.....

In a desert place one of the main cause of death is not thirst but flood. The ground is so dry and hard that when it rains it floods and if you do not know the right spot you might drown. A good shepherd knows where to lead his sheep to find safe water. The same is true for us. Choices we make in our lives can drown us (work, finances, relationships) or be safe if we allow Him to lead us.


 He guides me along the right paths.....

Did you know that sheep always walk in a straight line? This is cool until you walk in a straight line right down the cliff! A shepherd knows to guide his sheep in a straight line that gently curves back and forth to avoid major disasters. Do you let your shepherds guide you? Or do you follow your own path? You might be heading for a cliff......

The Lord is my shepherd.....

A sheep knows his shepherd's voice. Even when several flocks spend the night together, when morning comes and it is time to move each sheep recognize the calling of his shepherd. Do you? 

Action steps
  • Read John 10 and spend time thinking about what it means that Jesus is your good shepherd.
  • have you been following the good shepherd or have you been distracted or mislead by a bad shepherd?
  • maybe you are like Shrek and decided to do your own thing and now you find yourself burdened by extra weight you are carrying around. It will take time but allow your good shepherd to shave the weight off.
 Memorize
Psalm 23

If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.
Irish Blessing