Our study comes from Exodus 33:7-11. Please read this passage of Scripture.
Let’s talk about the God of Israel for a minute. This triune and sovereign God commanded all things to bow to His holy Name (Psalm 148:1-14). The angels worshiped Him (Hebrews 1:6), the demons shuddered in His presence (James 2:19), and the people were made in His image (Genesis 1:26). With just a whisper, God caused the mountains to shake (Exodus 19:18), the earth to tremble (2 Samuel 22:8), and the seas to roar (Psalm 95:5). From His holy place, He controlled the universe with His outstretched hands and His authoritative Word (Hebrews 11:3).
With this in mind, isn’t it amazing that this same impressive God set up residence in the midst of His people? He certainly didn’t have to, but He chose to. Right in the middle of the desert, among their homes and places of residence, Moses erected a tent. And it was here where God dwelt. He was present to communicate with them and to watch over them.
Today, we will reflect upon this marvelous aspect of God, the One who watches over His people.
According to Psalm 80:1, what name is attributed to God? Choose one.
Indweller Servant Shepherd
Father Creator Provider
God’s holy name encompasses all of these, but today, our focus is on God our Shepherd. Shepherds were an integral part of biblical days, but several times in Scripture there are specific references alluding to the Shepherd/sheep relationship. The Bible specifically calls God the Shepherd, and His people the sheep. In light of this, let’s see what we can glean from this relationship.
Ezekiel 34 contrasts a “bad” shepherd with a “good” shepherd. Read verses 1-16, and then write down some qualities of a good shepherd based on these verses.
A good shepherd will…
Which one of these characteristics gives you comfort right now? Why?
I’m not an expert on shepherding, but I do know some basic facts. Sheep are in desperate need of someone to watch over them, protect them, and take care of their daily needs. They are, by nature, dumb animals and, if left to themselves, they easily wander away from their flock and get lost or, worse, become an easy target for the enemy. A good shepherd is one who loves and cares for his flock, walks among them, is present at all times, and leads them to good and fruitful land for grazing. Sheep are most content when their shepherd moves among them with a watchful eye, allowing his presence to be known. This, Beloved, is a picture of how God watches over you.
Write out Isaiah 40:11.
Picture being swooped into God’s arms and carried close to His heart. What does it feel like? Write down your thoughts.
Fill in the blanks according to Jeremiah 31:10:
“He who ________________ Israel will _______________ them and will _________________ over his _______________ like a __________________.”
Not long ago, I visited a friend in Miami. For the first couple days, her dog, Tyler, kept staring at me. Whenever I moved, Tyler’s eyes followed me. If I could have read his mind, perhaps his thoughts might have been: “What is she doing here? What are her intentions? Is she okay?” My friend’s dog seemed to always have a watchful eye upon me. Did you know that the same is true of God’s eyes? He never takes them off of you. Wherever you go, wherever you are, whatever your situation, God is always watching out for you.
Look up Psalm 121:1-8. List five ways God is keeping watch over you.
Fill in the blanks according to Psalm 121:4:
“Indeed, he who _______________ over Israel will ______________ slumber nor _________________.”
In describing the full meaning of this verse, choose the one that best applies.
God gets vacation time God rests periodically
God sleeps at night God is always awake
Micah 5:4-5 affirms a prophetic word about Jesus, the Messiah. Read these verses, and answer the following questions:
How will He shepherd His flock?
What benefits will His sheep reap?
As I researched and composed today’s lesson, I wrote a poem capturing the essence of what I learned…
I wander around aimlessly today
The only color I see is a dull and dreary gray.
The sky above me seems full of clouds
As I weep and cry out loud.
All hope and joy appears to have been lost
The price for peace seems too high a cost.
My daily struggles are wearing me down
Each day, more and more problems abound.
I find myself devoured in a field of despair
And no one seems to even care.
I’ve heard of a place, though
A meadow where others like me go.
Many have spoken of this most beautiful place
Where a Shepherd resides, who’s full of grace.
Today, I made up my mind
To leave my burdened heart behind.
Entering this place, my breath is taken away
With the green grass and the flowers that sway.
The sky is so blue, with virtually no clouds
The beauty of nature here seems to abound.
In the distance, my Shepherd I see
With His hand of strength, He motions for me.
As I make my way over to Him
Everything else in life seems to dim.
He gently lifts me up to sit upon His knee
His abundant love I now can fully see.
With love and warmth, He speaks my name
I hear Him say, “I’m so glad that you came.”
This is my Shepherd, my Savior, my Friend
The One keeping watch until the very end.
Oh Friend, I trust that you are thankful for the Shepherd who watches over you and takes care of you. Make sure to pass this onto someone – someone who needs this reminder.
If you want to study more about the Shepherd who walks among you, then be sure to get my Bible study on Peter. You will be encouraged as you watch the interaction between Jesus and this disciple.
Have a blessed day and walk in the shadow of your GREAT SHEPHERD today.