Pastor’s Ponderings: Our Shepherd’s Certain Presence

Posted by on Jun 23, 2020 in FEATURED, Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

We may be surrounded by high waves, thunderstorms, or snow  storms.  But God, like a shepherd, is always with us.  Even if we run away, God’s mercy and love follow us in hot pursuit.  Pastor Jim submitted this “humble offering” during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic (6/23/20). 

Greetings Friends:
PLEASE READ: Ezekiel 34:11-16 

“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.

I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.

I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…., I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

 

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Today’s humble offering is a reminder of the certainty of God’s constant being with us. To add to the Scripture passage above, Psalm 23:6a says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”  The entire canon of Scripture presents God as a Great Shepherd.  The text noted above written by the prophet Ezekiel clearly presents God as a caring, pursuing Shepherd.

A couple of very important words found in Psalm 23:6 are “surely” and “follow.” These words serve as a source of our confidence and faith and a foundation for our hopes.  The Hebrew words translated as “follow” indicates a God who is “in hot pursuit” of His sheep. 

But note the word, “surely.”  It is an indication of something which is certain, unchanging, it is going to happen.  Think about this wonderful promise: as we journey through life, each day, each moment, God’s goodness and mercy are pursuing us!

 

This story illustrates this nicely:

A little boy was eagerly looking forward to the birthday party of a friend who lived only a few blocks away from his home. When the day arrived, a blizzard made the sidewalks and roads nearly impassable. The boy’s father, sensing the potential danger for his young son, hesitated to let his son go. The youngster reacted tearfully. He pleaded with his father, “But Dad, all the other kids will be there. Their parents are letting them go. Please Dad, let me go.”

The father thought for a minute, then replied softly, “All right son, you may go.”  Surprised but overjoyed, the boy bundled up with his heavy coat, snow pants, boots, gloves, and hat, and plunged into the raging storm. The driving snow and strong winds made visibility almost impossible, and it took the boy more than half an hour to trudge the short distance to the party. Finally at the front door he rang the doorbell and was greeted by his friend.  As he took a step to enter the house the boy turned briefly to look out into the storm. His eye caught the shivering shadow of a retreating figure. It was his father.  The father had followed his son’s every step to make sure he arrived safely.

 

That is a great story and great example of our pursuing Shepherd.   David writes:

The LORD is MY Shepherd…. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of MY life and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:1a & 6).

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

 

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For more Pastor’s Ponderings Devotionals, click this button:   Pastors Ponderings  

 

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