“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart …” (Psalm 95:7,8)
God is a Shepherd. Those who are His sheep are unafraid of His leadership. In fact, they are frightened to be without it.
What keeps so many from placing themselves under the auspices of such a good shepherd? Somehow, they believe they will fare better in their own hands than in the hands of any other, including God. They know what they want; they like having the “freedom” to choose their own path and chart their own destiny. Why should they submit to the judgment of another – discovering thoughts and ways that are different and perhaps contrary to their own?
Personal autonomy is idealized in our day. But being your own god and shepherd comes with a cost.
Personal autonomy is idealized in our day. But being your own god and shepherd comes with a cost. You are quite alone as you face “many dangers, toils and snares.” To have another by one’s side brings comfort and courage: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Oh the blessed assurance of knowing the Lord is with us, even in the most harrowing times of our life!
But the Lord our Shepherd is both our Comforter and our Counselor. He shows us the right way to walk through all the twists and turns we invariably must face. “… He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3) Today, and every day, to be the sheep of His hand means hearing His voice and letting Him lead us. To do otherwise, is to take our hand out of His.
Who wants to hold their own hand? Deep down, we long for a companion, one we can walk through life with – hand in hand. Our Creator would be that companion. He offers us His hand, not just to comfort us, but to lead us safely forward. Wherever we are, in the most familiar of settings, or the furthers corners of the universe, it pays to have our hand in His. “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:9,10)
Doing life alone can look seductively attractive; but in the end, sheep without a shepherd meet dire ends. The hand of God is outstretched. The day we look upon Him, not as a nemesis, who will interfere with our happiness, but the dearest Friend, who will immeasurably enhance our life, is a most precious day indeed. Let Him make you the sheep of His hand, and stay in His hand by daily hearing His voice.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27,28)