Okay gang, I accidentally deleted my Sunday Recap blog entry from Sunday, May 8. Rather than re-write everything in detail I’m just dropping my raw notes right here. You may want to listen to the podcast (unedited version) to grasp the full message. You can also watch the teaching video that goes along with it right HERE.
This series was inspired by Margaret Feinberg’s book Scouting the Divine. I highly recommend it as I have taken a lot of the book’s content for this message.
Wonderment Part 2 – Finding God in Wool
Synopsis: To examine sheep and shepherd metaphors and show examples of how the Good Shepherd is our provider and protector. To challenge an encourage sheep to “follow the Good Shepherd.”
There are nearly 700 references to sheep, shepherd, ewes, and lambs in Scripture.
1 Samuel 16:11 (NLT)
Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”
- Hebrew word “youngest” = qatan which implies “insignificant” and “unimportant.” (He was the runt.)
- David was the youngest and therefore left with the sheep, possibly overlooked for a more significant role.
- God (the Good Shepherd) sees value in him. God sees vaule in YOU.
Psalm 78:70-72 (NLT)
70 He chose his servant David,
calling him from the sheep pens.
71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs
and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—
God’s own people, Israel.
72 He cared for them with a true heart
and led them with skillful hands.
Let me repeat: God sees value in YOU.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
I told the back story of King David being caught in adultery and murder. God sends the prophet Nathan to confront David. Uh-oh.
2 Samuel 12:1-7 (NLT)
1 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”
5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!
- David had protected his sheep from a lion and a bear. Imagine how angry this made him.
- See David’s response by reading Psalm 51.
Jesus as the gate in John 10 = protector and provider
1. The Good Shepherd is a Provider
Psalm 23 says, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
God is enough.
Genesis 22:3-8 (NLT)
3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”
6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”
8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
Verses 12-14 (NLT)
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”
13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).
- Notice Abraham names the place The Lord Will Provide.
- God provided a spotless Lamb (Jesus) for us.
- God still provides.
The story of God using Moses to deliver His people is another great illustration of God’s supernatural provision for us.
- Moses went from the palace of Pharaoh to an actual shepherd in the wilderness to eventually shepherding God’s chosen people.
- It was in the wilderness place as a shepherd that God called him.
- At the burning bush Moses asked God, “What do I do if they don’t believe me?” God answered with a question: “What’s in your hand?” Answer: Shepherd’s staff.
- The Passover (lamb’s blood over door post) led to Israel’s freedom just as the blood of Jesus led to our freedom.
When Jesus showed up, what did John the Baptist introduce him as?
“Behold, the Lamb of God….who takes away the sin of the world.” (See John 1:29)
I read an excerpt from page 47 of Scouting the Divine.
2. The Good Shepherd is a Protector
The lamb in the video warmed up to me because I was near the shepherd.
Sheep know they are safe in the presence of their keeper.
In Scouting the Divine Feinberg asks the shepherdess Lynne what happens to sheep without a shepherd? Her husband answered, “They’d be dead.” What chance of survival? “Zero.”
One point Feinberg brings out in her book is the fact that sheep are not dumb. They are defenseless. “The sheep are literally dependent on their shepherd for their next mouthful.”
This world is messed up. Be on guard. We need Jesus.
Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:15 to be on alert for sheep in wolves clothing.
Matthew 10:16 (NLT)
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
John 10:10 tells us the thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill, and destroy…
Another cool fact I learned about sheep in the book is that they gather tightly as a flock because it’s the only way they can protect themselves. They have even been known to follow one another even over a cliff.
- We are urged in Hebrews 10:25 not to get out of the habit of meeting for worship…but encourage one another…”
- We need each other.
I read page 61 of Scouting the Divine. I will follow!
Follow JESUS (the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for you)
“Once they respond to my beckoning I have them forever.” ~Lynne (Shepherdess in Scouting the Divine)
Isaiah 40:11 (NLT)
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
Psalm 23 says “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
How do you get out of the valley?
Follow the Shepherd.