May 4

1 Samuel 17:34-35

A fearless shepherd

One day, while David was taking care of his father’s sheep, a lion carried off one of the lambs. When David struck the lion, it turned on him, so he grabbed it by the throat and beat it to death, saving the little lamb.

At another time a bear came to take one of the lambs. David went after the bear and attacked it, rescuing the helpless lamb.

Why would a shepherd risk his life for a silly sheep?

If you were a sheep, would you feel safe having a shepherd like David? David did not only care about his sheep; he was brave and strong enough to protect them!

A shepherd’s job is to look after a flock of sheep. However, not all shepherds are the same: there is a good shepherd who will do anything to keep his sheep safe, and one who looks after sheep only because he needs money. Someone who is paid to look after sheep does not care when a wolf comes to snatch away one of the sheep. Even if the sheep scatter, he will not risk his life to bring them back.

Jesus said, "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Because His sheep belong to Him and are precious to Him, Jesus not only risked His life, He gave His life!

Jesus is the only Shepherd who knows every one of His sheep by name (John 10:3-4). When He calls us, we recognize His voice because we have learned to trust Him.

Jesus is also the Gate (John 10:9). Every sheep that goes through the gate is kept safe because thieves cannot come and steal them. But there are other dangers too: the devil prowls around like a roaring lion. Yet, all those who have entered through Jesus the Gate are part of His flock and are perfectly safe!

Verse for today

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3