Prayer for the day
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commandments.
Scripture for the day
The scriptures regularly use the term “sheep” to refer to the congregation of the people of God. It’s a term that some find offensive in this age of independence and self-esteem. Yet the term remains useful in the scriptures partly because of the context: the people of the Bible knew sheep! They were shepherds and farmers. This kind of language was useful and familiar to them.
The term “sheep” adequately describes groups of people because there’s really little difference sometimes. We tend to move in groups. We tend to dislike being led but long to be led.
The people of Ezekiel’s time were compared to sheep because some of them were strong and some were weak and the strong sheep were trampling the weak sheep, not caring for them as they should. The strong, according to God, were supposed to care for the weak in order for the entire flock to be strengthened. Instead, the strong were bullying, not caring, and killing the weak. god’s displeasure is evident in His condemnation of the strong sheep who disregard the needs of the weak.
The sheep in 1 Peter are to be cared for just like the weak sheep in Ezekiel! God calls those who are leading the sheep to follow the example of the Great Shepherd, to care for the flock as He called Peter to do. The shepherds were called and are called to ensure that the flock is well cared-for. They are to be people used to humility, caring for others so that the entire body would be built up instead of looking only after themselves.
May we be good sheep and good shepherds, recognizing the love of the ultimate Shepherd and bathing in it!