Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shepherds with God's heart

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 3:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "'Return, O backsliding children,' says the Lord; for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.'" Jeremiah 3:14,15

It's hard to find a ray of hope in this description of Israel's unfaithfulness. But here is one—God's promise to give returning backsliders shepherds according to His heart. (David is called such a shepherd - 1 Samuel 13:14.)

It will be a good shepherd that will feed them with "knowledge and understanding."

[Understanding (sachal) means "to be wise, behave wisely, to understand, be instructed, wisely consider, be prudent and intelligent. Sachal describes the complex intelligent thinking process that occurs when one observes, ponders, reasons, learns, and reaches a conclusion."

A word derived from sachal is maschil (give instructions, make wise and skilful). Thirteen psalms are called "Maschil" psalms: 32; 42; 44; 45; 52; 53; 54; 55; 74; 78; 88; 89; 142 (the NKJV translates "Maschil" "a Contemplation") from Word Wealth by Dick Mills, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 963-4.]

I ask myself, what shepherd am I following? These days the chorus of want-to-be shepherds is overwhelming. They come to us via TV, the radio, and internet. A plethora of ministries offer broadcasts, podcasts, books, CDs, and DVDs.  All compete for our attention, loyalty, and financial support.

But the most reliable shepherd, I believe, is still God's word. As we read, ponder, reason, learn, and apply it to our lives we will be fed with knowledge and understanding. The Lord will be our shepherd (Psalm 23:1-6). And as we follow our heavenly shepherd, we will have the ear-sense to recognize the voice of good earthly shepherds (John 10:4).

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be hungry for Your knowledge and understanding, leadable and able to recognize Your voice in the voice of earthly shepherds.  Amen.

MORE: We need to know the God's word

"2 Corinthians 10:4,5 clearly indicates that we must know the Word of God well enough to be able to compare what is in our mind (and, I would add, what we're hearing /reading) with what is in the mind of God; any thought (or teaching) that attempts to exalt itself above the Word of God we are to cast down and bring into captivity to Jesus Christ" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, p. 4.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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  1. Love how bits of this post overlap with Janet's on Daniel 11:32, Violet - a sweet confirmation.

  2. Love it when that happens! A little sign that things are being coordinated by bigger minds than mine. Bless you!


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