Wednesday, 22 April 2020 Isaiah 40:1-11
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. -Isaiah 40:11
The Book of Isaiah can be compared to the Bible itself in that it has 66 chapters, the first 39 chapters are similar to the Old Testament books and the remaining 27 to the New Testament books. Isaiah 40 is the start of a fresh chapter for God’s people who had been to exile in Babylon – here begins the promise of comfort for His people, their redemption and their return to their own land. The years of suffering they had undergone at the hands of their enemies would soon be over and the Sovereign GOD would come with His mighty arm to save His people (Vs.10). This verse portrays the Strength of the Saviour! In the very next verse (vs.11), we see a Gentle Shepherd who will lead forth His people! What a combination-strength and gentleness both found in our LORD! He is mighty to save, and He is gentle in His love!
The picture of a Shepherd-King is etched forth in Isaiah 40:11. There are four verbs attributed to His actions that are noteworthy:
Feed- The Shepherd who knows the need of His flock and takes them to green pastures (Ps.23:2). Since the LORD is our Shepherd, we shall not be in want.
Gather- God the True Shepherd says in Ezekiel 34:16 “I will look for those that are lost, bring back those that wander off, bandage those that are hurt, and heal those that are sick;” He will gather the weak and frail ones and those that need special care.
Carry- He does not allow them to walk the long and tiresome way but carries them in His bosom- close to His heart! What tenderness!
Lead- A gentle leading for the weary and heavy laden- In Matt.11:28 Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
All these actions point to the Good and Gentle Shepherd who knows how to lead His sheep well. Jesus said in John 10: 11, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” The Good Shepherd is willing to take the responsibility of tending His sheep even to the extent of laying down His life in order to save them and protect them!
Jesus the Good Shepherd laid down His life- gave His own life to save each of us from the perils of sin. Isaiah 53: 6 [NLT] says: “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him [Christ] the sins of us all.” Christ Jesus took our sin so we would be set free to come into a living relationship with Him. When we willingly give our lives to Him, He takes the role of the Gentle Shepherd who will feed, gather, carry and lead His flock according to the need of each. Are you one of His flock? If not, make Him your Shepherd today. Are you a lamb, who is struggling to walk?- He will keep you in His tender care and protection! Are you weary, tired in your struggles?-He will carry you close to His heart where He can whisper to you tender words of comfort! He will give you the rest that you need, making you lie down in green pastures where He can restore your soul! Come to the Good Shepherd- He cares for you!
Thought for the Day: “A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.” - Leonard Ravenhill
Listen: ‘Shepherd of my soul’