This morning's devotion is yet another reminder of how important shepherding is to the Lord. Again, we read sorrow awaited the leaders responsible for caring for the Lord's people, but did not do so. Again, we read God will go to the scattered and deserted, and bring them back.
Honestly, this brings a keen awareness of how important my role as a mother is. It is not to be taken lightly. Even more so, feeling as though I am currently the spiritual leader in our home. I would never want to play a role in causing my children or husband to flee, wander, starve, thirst and be open to spiritual danger, because I was not looking after them (especially for selfish pursuits). God's mercy is abundant, I'm sure this is why He has us in this study. He loves us, He loves those we love.
Today's Scripture says in verse four...Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the LORD, have spoken!
The NASB puts it this way "I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.
The word TEND shows up here again. This reminds me of 1 Peter 5:2 in the Amplified version... Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion, constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits but eagerly and cheerfully.
I pray this morning as we gain a clearer image of those we are to care for, we also begin to gain an understanding of what a RESPONSIBLE, eager and cheerful shepherd looks like to the Lord. I'm sure we all have our own ideas, but I pray we align those ideas with the Word of God. I pray we're willing to change, if need be. I pray we have the humility to seek forgiveness in areas where we may have erred. I pray we have the courage to continue forward and trust God for change, where He sees fit.