Who Do YOU Rely Upon? (2 of 11) by Jerry Branch

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Who Do YOU Rely Upon? (2 of 11)
Series: Becoming all God wants you to be
Gerald Branch
Psalm 23:1 and Luke 15:1-7

(This message was inspired in part based on Max Lucado's Book, Traveling Light.)

...It's about "Letting go of self-reliance"
The Lord is my shepherd ...- Ps. 23:1
What is a shepherd...
and what do "sheep and shepherd" have to do with
becoming all God wants us to be?
Let's look first at some Biblical history.
Shepherding was the chief occupation of the Israelites
in the early days of the patriarchs:
Look at Abraham as we read in (Gen. 12:16);
Rachel shepherded her father's sheep (Gen. 29:9);
Jacob was a shepherd (Gen. 30:31-40); as was Moses (Ex. 3:1). During this period, shepherds were usually highly regarded.
But over time, as raising crops increased,
shepherding fell in status,
and was often assigned to the younger sons, or to hirelings,
and to slaves (compare David in 1 Sam. 16:11-13).
In fact, farmers, as we read of in Egypt, hated shepherds (Gen. 46:34).
Not much different than here in the U.S. during the days of the old West,
cattlemen and sheep herders were constantly at odds.
But for some reason or another, shepherds are important to God.
The Bible mentions shepherds and shepherding over 200 times.
AND...look at this...the Hebrew word for shepherding
( h['r' ra`ah {raw-aw'} )
is often translated, "feeding."
This is why Jesus told Peter to 'feed' my sheep in John 21:15,
feed my lambs.
So, let's see what we can learn of the importance of the shepherd by examining the role of shepherd...

In other words, what did the shepherd do?
Shepherds were responsible to lead the sheep out of the sheepfold,
and out to the pasture and to water (Ps. 23);
in addition, the shepherd had to protect the sheep from
wild animals (1 Sam. 17:34-35).
So, shepherds would then guard their flocks both day and at night whether they were out in the open (Luke 2:8)
or ...

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