Keep Thy Flock

Tribal man in colorful clothing herding a flock of sheep in a field with the Bible verse, The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Jesus, Shepherd of the sheep,
Who your Father’s flock does keep,
Safe we wake and safe we sleep,
Guarded still by you.

H. Cooke

We are sheep. And we are astray. Without a shepherd, we are scattered, wandering, food for wild beasts – following the prince of this world.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
    for I do not forget your commandments.

Psalm 119:176 ESV

We were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls if we have accepted the gift of salvation. Interestingly Jesus is both our Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his flock and He is the perfect Lamb that was slain for our redemption.  How can He be both?

Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
    shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
    come and save us.
Restore us, O God;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:1-3 NIV

It is a paradox …
The very Lamb of God who took away the sins of
the sheep is the Good Shepherd of those sheep.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.

Revelation 7:17 NIV

We need the lamb – a lamb without blemish or defect – to be our sacrifice, to satisfy a just and holy God!  We need the Shepherd because we are prone to wander, can’t find our way – our Shepherd protects his flock, guiding us, leading us home!

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine; do Thou befriend us,
Be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Dorothy A. Thrupp (1836)

If you want to read more, check out this meditation on the Good Shepherd.

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