When the Shepherd Has to Thrown Down

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Posted by Katie

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Last week I wrote about when Shepherds carry a weapon (In my case, a frying pan). This week, I am returning to that theme to make sure we’re all clear about when and why said Shepherd might also have to, shall we say,….“throw down”.

Yes, you read that right.

Psst...Um, Katie?...I thought the scripture for this week was that sweet little number about green pastures and still waters?

It sure is! In fact, before I explain why the Shepherd has his dukes up, let’s review:
Psalm 23: 2,3
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Here’s the thing. My thoughts this week have never strayed far from the plight of the persecuted Iraqi people who seem to be at the mercy of the worst terror this world has seen in generations. Truth be told, I have been filled with dread and even nausea at some of the news reports I have read. It is pure evil in action.

As I prayed about this week’s post, I was quick to dig in my heels. How excited can I get to write about Psalm 23:2,3, which would be among the very last verses of scripture that I would consider offering to a mother who is watching her children die of thirst? How is that encouraging? “What still waters?”, I challenged. (I argue a lot with God, don’t I?)

But God was quick to respond. He reminded me of the Truth.

The Shepherd makes you lie down in green pastures. The Shepherd leads you beside still waters. The Shepherd does all he can to guide you down the right paths.

But the Shepherd isn’t the only one wandering around out there with a vested interest in the herd.

“Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8

“Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people.” - Proverbs 28:15

Good thing shepherds aren’t unfamiliar with lions and bears…

“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth.’” - 1 Samuel 17:34

Our Shepherd will always lead us to a place that refreshes our soul. He will never lead us to a place of destruction. If we find ourselves in such a place, it is not because of His will, but because we have been hunted. God does not lead us to soul-wrenching places...but He will always go after us there.

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the people might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” - 2 Timothy 4:17

Sweet Jesus, dear Shepherd...go get ‘em.
In your Holy name we pray.

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