Jeremiah 23: 3 & 4
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. NIV
I have finally finished all of the “fear nots” in Isaiah and I’m moving on to Jeremiah. I am confident that there are more reminders not to worry in Isaiah, but I’ll need to find them using different word searches. The “fear not” list is not exhaustive, nor is it 365 verses in length. Still, as I said at the beginning, even if there are not 365 reminders not to worry in the Bible, I will benefit immensely from this exercise.
I love these verses. They remind me of the 23rd Psalm, which is one of my favorites and one that I spent a few weeks studying early last year. During that study, I learned a great deal about sheep and about shepherds, and the beauty of the imagery of Christ being our shepherd and us his sheep.
But, my favorite sheep lesson was one my sister taught me. We were in her truck in a part of the world where animals are not revered as they are in the U.S. There was a little flock of four-legged animals at the side of the road … no fence, no pen, just a bunch of little animals standing there on their own.
I said, “They are so cute! What are they?” She responded that some of them were sheep and some of them were goats. I asked her how to tell the difference and she said, “Well, there are some physical differences I think in their ears and and their legs, but, (my brother-in-law) says that the best way to tell is that the goats have sense enough to get out of the way of the truck!”
I love that!
On their own, sheep get into all kinds of trouble, they are near sighted and top-heavy and vulnerable to pests. They are completely dependent on their shepherd to ensure their safety and their well being. When God describes me as a sheep and Christ as my shepherd He is indicating that this is the kind of relationship that He intends us to have.
I don’t have to worry. My shepherd is in charge.
That’s what I’ll think about today.