Slumbering shepherds or Seeking Shepherd

Nahum 3:18 reads “Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.” This slumbering shepherds here refer to the rulers (nobles, princes, and officials) in the army of the vile king of Assyria (most likely reference here is to Sennacherib), who were supposed to keep watch over their own people, but are now no where to be found (), because they have been put to sleep/slumber (killed) in the dust, by the invading Medo-Babylonian army that God raised against them, to avenge his people (of Judah), whom they oppressed grievously. The king trusted in his own strength and military might (his rulers and officials) instead of on the Lord (2 Kings 19:8-13) only to find out that it was futile.

Contrarily, God the Good Shepherd is One who never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). He is a Seeking Shepherd going after those who are lost (Luke 15:4-6) never abandoning his own people.

Points to ponder:
Are you in the fold of men who are like slumbering shepherds, putting your trust in officials (managers and leaders) who seek their own interests or are you in the fold of the One Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, trusting solely in him. Jesus said that he is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and he came to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10), by willingly giving his life for all lost in sin (John 10:18). Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) and will be with you even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

Nahum 3:18 (KJV)
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.

John 10:11-18 (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Our Father :: The Protecting Father God

From the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples we can learn of many characteristics of the kind of God, Our Father, is. In this prayer, Jesus teaches us to request God to keep us from being tested/tempted and to deliver us from the evil one (the devil). This establishes the fact that God our Father is a Protecting Father. In the prayer of Jabez, one of the requests that Jabez made of God was that He be kept from evil and the Lord granted him his request (1 Chronicles 4:10). In other words, Jabez recognized that he needed God’s protection, because the evil one is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Just as David fought the lion and the bear that tried to snatch a single sheep away from his fold (1 Samuel 17:34-35), God the chief and Good Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4, John 10:11) would not allow any of us, not even one, who have believed in His Son, and put ourselves into the safety of his protecting hands, from being snatched away by the evil one. Jesus assured us of this when he said, no one can pluck those who are in Christ from the Father’s hand (John 10:29). To pray for God’s protection so that we do not succumb to temptation and to be delivered from the evil one is in a sense, uttering the same prayer of Jesus from the Cross, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

Point(s) to ponder:

Have you/I surrendered our lives to God and placed our trust in Jesus to save us?
Have you/I asked God to keep us from being tempted and t0 rescue us from the evil one?
Have you/I committed our lives/spirit into the safety of God’s hand; for Our Father is a Protecting Father God.

Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one: …

The Shepherd and The Lamb

I was talking one morning,a  few days ago, with our beloved 4 year old son, Reuben and was telling him about Jesus Christ being the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei), but then as I started to explain to him what it meant to be The Sacrificial Lamb, he quickly stopped me and inquisitively questioned, but isn’t Jesus also the Shepherd? If so how can He be the Lamb and the Shepherd? My loving wife, Sangeetha and I both felt that this was an interesting observation and certainly a good question that warranted some further investigation. Throughout the day I researched, pondered and studied the Holy Bible to see what the Bible has to say about what would seem as a literary incongruity.

Upon research, I learned that Jesus Christ personally claimed to be the Good Shepherd that would lay down His life for His sheep (his people – you and me) (John 10:11). He is also the Chief Shepherd as stated through Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus Christ was identified as being the Lamb of God by John the Baptist and then we see references in the Bible to Him as the Lamb, but He never personally claimed to be a Lamb. So how can Jesus Christ be the Shepherd and also the Lamb?

It is the responsibility of the shepherd to pick a lamb without blemish for sacrifice, but when God searched through the entire world, to and fro  (2 Chronicles 16:9) He found none that was righteous (Romans 3:10) and so He had to look at Himself. Having found none other than Himself, He had to forsake Himself (Matthew 27:46) for the sake of His people and was identified to be the Lamb of God. He lay down His life on his own accord, as the Good Shepherd is expected to, so that you and I could walk through the valley of the shadow of death and not fear its power.

Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and for the taking away (remission) of sins, there needs to be a shedding of blood (a sacrifice) (Hebrews 9:22) and the Good Shepherd willingly shed his blood on the Cross of Calvary and laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:17). Though our finite minds may find it hard to understand, suffice it to say that Jesus Christ is not only the one who chose  the Sacrifice (Shepherd God) but He is also THE SACRIFICE (Lamb of God), because there is no other sacrifice that can atone and satisfy a God of Justice and Love. Jesus Christ is The Shepherd and The Lamb.

John 10:11 (KJV)
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 1:29 (KJV)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.