In Israel, we often see goats and sheep roaming the countryside. Driving through rural Israel often involves suddenly stopping to allow a herd of sheep or goats to cross the road. But interestingly, I have never seen “sheep kill” on the side of the road in all the years that I’ve lived in Israel. It’s because sheep don’t roam without a shepherd!
The Lord is gathering His lambs with His arm, and carrying them to His bosom. This is not a distant relationship but one of loving care and intimacy with His sheep. He said, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14. Then He continued, “and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
The most vulnerable time for defenseless animals is at night when they need to sleep. The sheepfold is where they are gathered by the shepherd each night; a stone compound, with rocks stacked high enough to keep out predators, but without a door. Jesus declared Himself to be the “door of the sheep” because, as a Good Shepherd, He lies where a door would typically be so that nothing could go in or out, without passing by the Shepherd.
As evil seems to be rearing its ugly head in every facet of life these days, and greater darkness seems to be looming on the horizon, we need to truly realize the powerful and complete protection that our Good Shepherd provides. Nothing can get to us unless it goes through Him! When the Lord laid down His life for us He also gave us a fortress of protection and safety which is impossible to break.
Knowing of the dark days we would be facing Jesus afforded us a profound sense of safety in Himself so that we absolutely need not walk in fear. Promising never to leave nor forsake us till the end of the age He gave us the security of intimacy with Himself, in and through every trial or danger. We need never doubt that we can trust Him.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:10-11
by George Whitten