And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;
they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
when he comes into our land
and treads within our border. Micah 5:4-6 ESV
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:6-9 ESV
In the art of ancient Egypt, the king is often shown holding a shepherd’s staff. The writing of ancient Egypt, called hieroglyphics, used the symbol of the shepherd’s staff as the word for “rule” or “ruler.” Many people think this started because a very old Egyptian god of farm animals named Andjety was always shown holding a shepherd’s staff as a symbol of his power. The shepherd’s staff showed that the king’s job was to guide his people the way a shepherd guides his sheep. When the famous Egyptian King Tutankhamun was found in his sarcophagus, he was holding a shepherd’s staff.
The Bible sometimes uses the idea of a shepherd to talk about the rulers of the people, and also to describe the Lord himself. The prophet Micah said that when the promised Savior would come, he would be a shepherd who would take care of his people and keep them safe. He would give them peace by defeating their enemies and by raising up earthly shepherds to help protect and care for them. When their enemies came into their land, God would save his people.
God did save the southern kingdom from the Assyrian empire, but Jesus, the promised Savior, came many years later, and he saved his people from enemies much worse than the Assyrians. Jesus saved us from sin and death, and gave us peace with our Heavenly Father by taking away our sins. We don’t have to worry about the forces of evil that might hurt us, because Jesus is our Good Shepherd who protects us. He keeps us close to him and guides us through our life and into our life forever in his heavenly kingdom.
Dear Jesus, thank you for being our Good Shepherd. Please protect us and guide us every day. Amen.